Post-doctoral researchers occupy sort of a gray area on many university campuses. They're no longer students, but they aren't ready to be professors either. You see postdocs a lot in the sciences, where that extra lab time is virtually required before having a university lab of one's own.
Their unique situation is one reason why some postdocs at the University of Washington are trying to form a union.
Brian Weitzner is a postdoc in the biochemistry department and Carolyn Brotherton works in microbiology. They explain why they think a union is the best way to address their concerns.
The conversation above is one of two exploring labor issues facing post-doctoral researchers. The first conversation is a broader look at how postdocs have changed.