April 2022

SURPAS Council Meeting Agenda

Thursday April 28th, 2022 11:30am-1:00pm 

Location: Zoom

Quorum:  10

  • Acknowledgment statement, inc group norms/mutual respect (2’) 
  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’) 
  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)
  • Acknowledgement statement, Introductions and approval of minutes (2’)

2 new postdocs introduced. Minutes approved by Julia and Chinyere. 

  • Updates (2’)

Changes to pickup and dropoff hours at LKSC. All areas are self-serve.

  • SURPAS committee – (15’)
    • SPIF
    • Symposium committee
    • Communication committee
    • Sports committee (climbing group)

Symposium- David: 

Looking for new members and new co-chairs for this committee. Annual symposium by SURPAS (during COVID was virtual). 2 day event, keynote and workshop the network alumni session. Well attended, over 100 people. Commitment is about 1-2 hours per week. Meets about 2 times per week close to the event. Email Jason or David for more info. 


SURPAS has $5000 for postdoc lead initiative events. 


Lucy: family committee is running low on funds, where can they apply to get more money? 

Kenzo: Is it funded by event or can do weekly events? Chuchu: normally for one event but can apply and see. They may fund for weekly events. SURPAS will also work to do more events off campus. 

Chuchu: First use money from family committee, then can try SPIF and they can evaluate it. Can ask OPA and VPGE if they can support their events. Chinyere: Sharry Krams for SOM or Stacey Bent, email both of them. 

Communication committee- Chuchu/Francesco:

Build community for postdocs, advocate for postdoc needs, cultivate postdoc leadership. Want to do weekly highlights, monthly mailer. Join slack channel if interested. 

Sports committee- Jade:

Wants to get the climbing group restarted. Anyone that is interested should reach out. Jadehe@stanford.edu

Long range planning committee- Tim:

Meeting May 12th 9:30-10:30 for next steps. Have reviewed all the advocacy that SURPAS has work on in the past. Want to build up on this and what do we want postdocs to look like. Want to finish this by end of summer. Plan is to make a report/document to go to administration with it. The document will also serve for us. 

Chinyere: Please collaborate for housing because we do have a working group for this and want to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

  • Guest speaker -Sophie Klepner (12:00-12:30)
    • Updates about issues postdocs care the most 

Overview of how postdocs get paid: 

Salary (grants), stipend (funded grants), direct funded (fellowships). Postdocs paid salary are paid bi-weekly, stipend monthly. Postdocs paid salary have taxes taken out and get W2. 

Salary: Postdoc fringe applied to all salary (cpvers, benefits, go pass, childcare

Stipend: benefits must be paid through PTA

NPA map: Postdocs who are outside funded have less access to benefits. Stanford gives benefits such as health insurance, short and long term disability, maternity/paternity (paid and unpaid), subsidized child care and on-site child care. 

Leave policy depends partly on California State policy, leave policy is in the postdoc policy. Isn’t a specialist on this area, reach out to who is. OPA recognizes the issues that are across the country and working hard on our behalf. 

Eamon: where does Stanford stand in this? Sophie circles all areas that Stanford gives. This data is publicly available for us. 

Institutional Investment in Postdoc FY22

    • Transitional housing (est $420-$600K x 2yr). Small pilot. Provides housing for a few months for postdocs coming in while they start. Close to campus, won’t need to have credit rating or 3 months of rent up front. Will be at market rate. This cost is admin cost of people coming and going, cleaning costs. 
    • Total family aid (1.4M)
    • Grant-in- aid (55K)
    • Go Pass (585K). Was what postdoc wanted for many years and advocated for. Was along the same lines as the Grad student program but kept them separate (grad ones were temporary). No plan whatsoever to remove G0-pass for postdocs. 
    • Total is about 2.5M/year

How health plans work: 

fully insured: fixed cost set by insurance company, premiums cover cost of claims and drive profit. 

Self-funded: premiums based on actual cost of health care. Bases premiums on actual claims and can change as needed. Full access to data for evaluation. Gives flexibility to make changes. 

This plan allowed to find a way that all postdocs are covered even when they couldn’t get a SSN

Rate setting happens with brokers, evaluate the cost of care and services over past 18 months. Project increased cost care. 

Can we have a less expensive plan? They try every year to look around. Kaiser requires all to have a SSN which is not the case for all postdocs. TRIO excludes all stanford, UCSF, and sutter health. Shifting cost of accessing care (lower premiums but significantly raise copays). 

Stanford increased the amounts they were contributing at a cost when it went up and needed to reset when it would be not sustainable. 

Chinyere: If in June what happens if cost will increase? Sophie suggests cost will most likely increase and we will have to advocate. If there are a small group of postdocs we could talk and present our perspective to benefits team to determine what we’re willing to compromise on. Pick area we want to advocate for. 

Surbhi: Are postdocs subsidizing any other group? Sophie says we are not. 

Where are we going? Postdocs report the lowest rate of finding community, group, or in which they felt welcome. Postdocs also had the lowest rate of having found a community, group or space in which they felt community. Percent of postdocs reporting microaggressions and discriminatory behaviours. Learn together how to create community and that postdocs feel like part of Stanford. 

Surbhi: Cost of premium processing of Visas for international postdocs is really expensive, is there any help here? Sophie says need to do more research on this and may be PI/department dependent. 

  • Council Member Elections/Renewals (20’)
    • Josefine Nielson- (re-election- deferred to May meeting)
    • Nathan Johnson- new member
    • Dingying Shan- new member

Nathan- working at SLAC, previous experience in organizing social events and interested in starting up the social committee. Wants to also collaborate with family committees and affinity groups. 

Tim asks about postdoc prom. Nate is working with Julia and Rohini to get this going for the summer, in planning stages. Looking to have a formal event. Also wants to do other social events throughout the year. If other are doing similar events, how can we share resources across committees? 

Chinyere: How are we going to fund the Prom?

Nate: There’s a SURPAS allocated budget of $3000. Working on budget proposal that we will take to VPGE and other sources possibly raise the budget. There are a lot of individual departments that may be able to help. There will be a small ticket price that will help with the cost. 

VOTED IN- 12 yes

Dingying: want to work with sports and social committee, family and teaching and outreach committee. Volunteered at last happy hour event and wants to continue volunteering to support the community. 

VOTED IN- 13 yes

  • Resolution in Support of Striking Stanford Nurses (5’)
  • Upcoming events (5’)
    • May Happy Hour- May 5th- 4:30-6:30pm Herb Garden? PRISM
    • Long Range Planning meeting- May 12th 9:30-10:30 am
    • Policing Town Hall- May 12th 5- 6:30 pm at HAAS center
    • May OPA/SURPAS Meeting
    • May Council Meeting: Wednesday May 25th 11:30am