To improve their harsh day-to-day life, many but not all postdoctoral fellows are in favour of unions. Unions are meant to empower postdocs while facing universities for better work conditions: fair salaries, term of employment, benefits, maternity leave…
However, as Virginia Gewin described, many postdocs are also reluctant to unionization. They fear tensions between mentors and mentees, or tough choices for funders and principal investigators if salaries increase.
But for Brian Weitzner, ”if university administrations approach collective bargaining as an opportunity to work together, the resulting partnership can help universities become paradigms of well-managed, fair, and effective workplaces”. Which would be much needed for researchers as well as academia.
To have a look at the Canadian association of postdoctoral scholars, see their website here.