Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Postdoc salary raises face potential challenge

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III granted an injunction against implementation of the much talked about and long sought updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Scientists have been calling for the increase in pay the Fair Labor Standards Act brings to postdoctoral scholars for over 15 years.

The long term consequences of this are still unclear. We do know that the injunction will delay the FLSA ruling and potentially mean that professionals working at the University are no longer eligible for overtime pay and the University is no longer under any obligation to increase minimum salaries to match the threshold of $47,476 by the December 1st deadline.

However, the University has previously stated that

[Increasing postdoctoral wages] best supports the spirit of scholarship and research. Postdocs are an important part of the University community; they contribute significantly to our research enterprise. Raising salaries is one way of indicating the value of their work.”

The Postdoctoral Association is certain this expression of recognition of the work and contribution researchers bring means the University will continue to support the increased postdoctoral wages it has issued, both now and in the future. We are in contact with the administration and our allies both in Minnesota and Washington D.C., and we will communicate everything we learn, especially how it may now apply to postdoctoral fellows. Just as we always have, we will continue our mission of advocacy on behalf of postdoctoral scholars at the U.