Research Assistants Fight to Protect their Layoff Benefits

Left to Right: Jianmin Zeng, Pathology; Cheryl Bergman, Job Search Team; Dongqing Liu, IEP; Liping Zhao, Anesthesiology
Dongqing Liu was working as a Research Assistant for the Yale Cancer Center this Spring when she found out her Primary Investigator (P.I.) did not have enough funding for the coming fiscal year to keep her position. “Of course I was nervous about finding a new position,” said Dongqing, a member of the Local 34 Organizing Committee, “but I have worked here for seven years in a few different labs and I knew I had the right to be in the Interim Employment Pool for fifteen months until I found a new job.”

The 90-day notice period before her layoff was just about to end when Cheryl Bergman, of the Local 34 Job Search Team, heard from the University that they believed Dongqing’s visa status made her ineligible for the IEP. Dongqing and Cheryl worked closely to get the University to reexamine its position, while Dongqing also worked with her fellow Committee members to take next steps. 

This month, Dongqing received notice that the Office of International Students and Scholars agreed with the Union that Dongqing is eligible for our layoff benefit. Dongqing is now in the IEP with full pay and benefits and working hard to find her next position.

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