Postdocs at the University of Connecticut Health Center voted 80 to 5 to ratify a union agreement last week, a step organizers are calling the first of its kind.

“This is something historical,” and a move that may encourage other postdocs to organize as well, Munirathinam Subramani, a postdoctoral fellow in the UConn Neuroscience Department and one of the principal organizers, told The Scientist.

The agreement includes a 26.7% spike in the minimum salary, from $27,000 to $34,200—equivalent to the minimum starting salary for postdoctoral fellows set by the National Institutes of Health. After 1 year, UConn postdocs making the new minimum will experience another 5.3% increase in wages, from $34,200 to $36,000. Postdocs who make more than the new minimum will receive 3% more wages this year and an additional 3.25% next year.

The agreement ensures that postdocs will receive 12 paid sick days and 30 additional...

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