uOttawa Postdoc support

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The number one issue facing postdoctoral fellows at the University of Ottawa is the lack of
employee status and employee related benefits. Remarkably, uOttawa remains one of only two
Canadian U15 Universities to not address these issues. The goal with this current petition is to
help empower those representing the postdocs to be a part of essential conversations
concerning the status of postdocs and benefits at the University of Ottawa.

The most recent data gathered from Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS)
demonstrates that 82% of uOttawa postdocs are dissatisfied with the status of their benefits as
compared to 44% at other Canadian Institutions. More specifically, only 13.1% of uOttawa
postdocs have access to a drug plan as compared to 47% at other Canadian Institutions; only
16% of uOttawa postdocs have access to extended health benefits as compared to 43% at
other Canadian Institutions; only 18% of uOttawa postdocs have dental as compared to 52% at
other Canadian Institutions; and finally, only 16.4% can access health insurance for their family
as compared to 44% at other Canadian Institutions.

As the average age of postdocs and the number of postdocs with dependents are all increasing (CAPS 2009 and 2016; uOttawa data 2016); there is an urgent need to improve the status of postdocs at uOttawa. Moreover, as we fall behind other U15 Canadian Universities, prospective postdoctoral fellows may look elsewhere for their continued research training. Of note, recently a portion of University of Ottawa PDFs training at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute have been granted employee status and have access to benefits. These recent changes in policy only emphasize how essential it is that uOttawa postdocs are provided with these same benefits.

It is our understanding that uOttawa is currently reviewing these policies; however, postdoctoral
fellows and our postdoc association have been excluded from any conversations. This petition
is an initiative from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine Postdoctoral Association
(PDA) to have proper representation and to be consulted when discussing issues related to the postdoctoral community including employee status and benefits.

We ask that you sign the following petition to show your support for your fellow postdocs, and
those representing them, to ensure that uOttawa supports its trainees at the highest level. We
encourage University of Ottawa trainees and staff (graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and
administrative staff) to sign this petition to show your support for our postdocs as we aim to
develop the best research environment at uOttawa.

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Update: December 14, 2018: Following the initiation of this petition the Faculty of Medicine PDA was invited to, and attended, a recent meeting with uOttawa Administration to discuss the status of uOttawa postdoctoral fellows. We hope this represents the beginning of our ongoing
involvement in updating the uOttawa policies that affect all postdocs. The PDA’s inclusion in
these discussions means we need your support more than ever, so that we can best represent
uOttawa postdocs.

1. Jadavji NM, Adi MN, Corkery TC, Inoue J, Van Benthem, K. (2016). The 2016 Canadian
National Postdoctoral Survey Report. Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars-
L'Association Canadienne de Stagiaires Post-doctoraux.

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