We were outraged by Buzzfeed’s exposé report on Professor Michael Katze’s record of abusive behavior towards workers in his lab. It’s unacceptable that UW central administration knew about Prof. Katze’s behavior for over ten years and continually protected him over the health and safety of university employees.
We hear about this egregious abuse of power and inadequate university response only a few months after the break in to the K and J wings of the Health Sciences Building, where multiple assaults took place. Following this incident, UAW 4121 stewards in the health sciences sent a letter to UW Chief of Police calling for better and more “immediate measures to ensure safety in the future and to improve the lines of communication.” Yet, UW central administration and police have done little to respond or act. Enough is enough.
UAW 4121 is calling on UW central administration to stop protecting predators and do more to protect the health and safety of their employees. These workers place their trust in their supervisors, and that trust has been violated time after time as central administration turned their back on the assaulted workers.
Add your name today and tell UW central administration that enough is enough—it’s time to stop turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and assault at UW.
We recognize that today’s news is just the latest in what is clearly the perpetuation of unsafe environments at universities across America, from Yale to Northwestern, UC Berkeley to UCLA. It’s time to change the culture of silence and permissiveness that allows sexual predators to operate with impunity—and that’s why the role of organized labor in academia is so needed. Without a voice in the workplace, vulnerable students and researchers are victimized while central administration turns the other way.
We encourage you to get in touch with the union if you or someone you know has or is currently experiencing sexual harassment or assault, even if you are not sure if you can take action. Our contract has strong language against sexual harassment, assault, discrimination, and microaggressions. Please contact UAW 4121’s grievance working group at email@example.com. UAW 4121 advocates strongly on behalf of its members.
We are taking matters into our hands and assembling a sexual harassment and assault working group to specifically address the changes we need implemented. All interested 4121 members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved or learn more. The working group’s first meeting will be next Wednesday, July 6th at noon, at a location TBD on south campus. This initial meeting is open to all UW members, including graduate and undergraduate students, postdocs, faculty, and other researchers, as this issue impacts the entire community.
Monica Cortes Viharo
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime