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I am a postdoc in biological sciences at Berkeley

Current Employee - Postdoctoral  in  Berkeley, CA
Current Employee - Postdoctoral in Berkeley, CA

I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

With the new union, the salary is commensurate with NIH levels. There is a decent amount of support filling out health care options and learning about other benefits through HR and the VSPA. They have just started a number of programs designed to help with academic job searches and applying for grants.

Cons

The graduate union at Berkeley prohibits postdocs from teaching or TAing. If you want additional teaching experience, you need to go outside the UC System (eg community college or SF state). There is little to no support for jobs outside of academia. There is little or no support if you are having conflicts within your lab or within the department (though think this is pretty standard for universities). The career center is much more focused on the undergrads than on post grad job searches.

Other Reviews for University of California Berkeley

  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a great fit for someone who wants to move up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Director  in  Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Director in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good benefits, great students, great to work in the heart of the East Bay. Decent job security, and a wide variety of workshops and resources staff can use to enhance resumes.

    Cons

    A major downside to the job security at UC Berkeley is that many people do not leave. And many people who work here are no longer the most qualified candidates for their positions. The school lacks a focus on rising to the times, and so there is no urge to develop these veteran employees further. This leaves little room for ambitious newcomers to rise up on the food chain. Additionally, comparatively low wages continued to lower the staff morale. Many staff members have just checked out completely. There are no carrots, as bonuses have been frozen. There are no sticks, as it seems nearly impossible to lay off employees who are not fulfilling their job descriptions. It is very difficult for someone who wants to rise, succeed, and make a difference to work to their full potential and not feel like a chump.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start pulling out the weeds to create a more productive and efficient work environment for people who are being paid a lesser salary, but have so much untapped and unused potential.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a wonderful place to work, going downhill fast due to bad managment decisions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Used to be a very relaxed and friendly place. You could have flexible hours, wear tshirts to work and all anyone cared about was that you got your work done. Work/Life balance was considered important. Vacations were not begrudged. You had someone to back you up & help w/ work.

    For anyone hired into a Career position before 2012/2013 depending on the changes -the retirement pension, benefit and all that are amazing. (LIFETIME Medical benefits if you retired). 3 weeks vacation and other perks.

    It varied by departments but in most you could get training and learn new skills and move up and around - as long as you were smart and hard-working you could move up.

    Cons

    They're gutting the only things that made up for the lower-than-average pay. Retirement pension & benefits are being cut. People are being laid off & everyone left is expected to do the work of 2-3 people. There are very few Career jobs, they now hire people for 1-2 years so there is NO INVESTMENT by those people or longterm goals. There is NO respect for the workers from upper management. They consider all work done by staff to keep the university running as unimportant. EVERYONE is miserable & turnover is contant - anyone smart & not vested in the retirement plan is finding new jobs all the older dedicated hardworking people who have all the institutional knowledge are bailing out w/ early retirement. So you've only got the people who are "stuck" in the middle or who can't find jobs left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring former bankers & other managers from coporations to come in and try to turn a non-profit into some corporate monstrosity. Stop outsourcing jobs that are done by UCB employees to other companies (are you getting kickbacks?) Stop firing people and giving stipends & housing allownances to manager. Stop wetting your pants over anything labelled "OE" (Operational Excellence). Realize that centralizing services may tehcnially make them more "efficient", but consider that QUALITY will be near zero in this model. Stop treating staff like they are nothing but "Human Capital" that is easily replacable. Respect the dedication and hard work of staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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