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The University of California system’s new union for academic researchers (such as project scientists, specialists, professional researchers and coordinators of public programs) reached a tentative deal on a first contract. The three-year contract includes salary increases of up to 24 percent (cumulative), participation in the same benefits package as other employees, sufficient training for all positions and a joint committee to explore a bridge funding program for principal investigators.

Also guaranteed are two vacation days accrued per month for full-time employees, leaves of absence and sick days, a parking and transit program, and grievance and arbitration procedures. Researchers may only be terminated or disciplined for “just cause.” Initial appointments must be at least one year long, and reappointments must be at least two years long. The union, which represents about 5,000 researchers, is affiliated with United Auto Workers.