Universities told to sort out postdoc salary inequity

A group of scientists is calling for United States institutions to sort out their chaotic postdoc system, which sees workers receive unequal salaries and training opportunities simply because of their job titles. There are 37 different designations for postdoctoral workers in the US – 36 too many, says a team of biomedical researchers, writes Katrina Kramer for Chemistry World.

Postdocs often struggle with poor job security and hourly earnings often below minimum wage. What should be a time of training often becomes a permanent arrangement in which postdocs continue working under changing designations. To make matters worse, postdocs working at the same institution often have disparate salaries and benefits.

“Someone called a postdoc might have a prescribed training plan and someone called a research scholar might have no training plan at all,” explains Michael Schaller, from West Virginia University, US, who led the study together with fellow biochemist Wesley Sundquist from the University of Utah, US. The scientists recommend that institutions implement a minimum salary, standard benefits – such as annual leave and health insurance – and restrict the number of years people can work as postdocs.
Full report on the Chemistry World site