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NIH Researchers Vote To Form A Union For The First Time

Hundreds of early-career researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have voted overwhelmingly to form a union, nearly completing the official process required to do so. They plan to call on the agency — the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research — to improve pay and working conditions, and to bolster its policies and procedures for dealing with harassment and excessive workloads. About 98% of the research fellows who participated in the ballot voted on 6 December to form the union, with 1,601 voting in favour and just 36 against. Barring any objections, the result will be certified by the US Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) after five business days, and the union will become the first ever to represent fellows at a federal research agency and the largest union to form in the US government in more than a decade.

Early-Career NIH Researchers Forming Union For First Time

Bethesda, Maryland - Thousands of early-career researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have kick-started the process of forming a union. They are calling on the agency — the world’s largest biomedical funder — to raise pay and improve benefits, as well as to bolster its policies and procedures on harassment and excessive workloads. About 150 of these researchers rallied on the NIH’s campus in Bethesda, Maryland, on 1 June to celebrate filing their union petition with the US Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in nearby Washington DC. The filing kicks off a months-long process that they hope will end in the union being officially recognized by the US government and the NIH.

March For Science Fact Checks Administration On Earth Day

By John Zangas for DC Media Group. The March for Science was deemed by organizers as a non partisan, non political event but based on the wording of many signs political viewpoints were evident everywhere. By the hundreds they carried various hand made signs spelling out topics of concern over recent policy changes which they believe if enacted will adversely affect people and planet. Some signs were technical references to science facts, while others were plain and direct. “There is no Planet B” read one sign, “Science is not right or left”, and “The Oceans are rising and so are we” read others. “I see a lot of good science has done for my patients and I feel like it’s vital that we continue to support it,” said Erika McKee, a nurse from Washington DC, marching with friends who are doctors and scientists working at the NIH.
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