The Union for Academic Student Employees at the University of Washington

We are a strong, progressive voice for 4,500 student workers on all three campuses.  More than 70% of ASEs have consistently chosen membership to help build our collective power and advocate for fair working conditions, a stronger and more accessible higher education system, and social justice in our community and beyond.


UW_SupportFairPay_WebSlide_0726-01

A few weeks ago, we helped initiate a petition to stop members of Congress from undoing the new overtime rules that improve wage standards for millions of workers in U.S. – including postdocs and other researchers in higher education.  So far Congress has not taken further action on this damaging proposal, but the move has sparked conversation among Local 4121 members (many of whom are nearing completion of their degrees and applying for postdoctoral positions) about how else we can take action.  The stakes are high, as the national landscape for scientists for years into the future could be altered by what happens in the coming months.

If you haven’t yet signed our petition, please do so now.  In addition to sending this petition to Congress, we are calling on the University administration to ensure that they resist the calls of special interest groups, follow the example set by the National Institutes of Health, and raise the minimum pay for early career researchers.

Like our recent campaign against cuts to TA positions, and the continued work of 4121 members this summer to address the structural causes of job loss and wage depression in higher education, this development highlights the need for us to mobilize on campus.  It’s critical that the University administration rejects these efforts and maintains fair standards for its employees.

Our Local 4121 compensation work group is therefore re-convening to discuss wage issues for Academic Student Employees as well as to look at the broader national outlook for STEM and non-STEM workers, both in terms of current and future job outlooks. All interested 4121 member, please email uaw4121@uaw4121.org to get involved or learn more.  Please join us on Thursday, August 4th, 3:30 p.m. at Suzzallo Espresso.

Help send a strong message to Congress and the University administration by adding your name to our petition and participating in discussions and action planning with our compensation work group!

In solidarity,

Theresa Aliwarga
Douglas Avella-Castro
Andrea Canini
Anthony Castanza
Ying-Yu Chen
Monica Cortes Viharo
Toni Ferro
Kristen Garofali
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime
Katya Kolesova
Dylan Mayer
Elizabeth Mills
Chelsea Pagan
David Parsons
Michelle Pham
Shua Sanchez
Viral Shah
Sam Sumpter
Arash Tarkhan


UW_EnoughSexualHarrassment_WebSlide_0720_1a

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 contractenforcement@uaw4121.org. 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 stopassault@uaw4121.org to get involved or learn more. The working group’s next meetings will be Thursday July 28, 9am-10am in Health Sciences I-132, and Wednesday August 3, noon-1pm in Health Sciences T-473. 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.

Solidarity,

Theresa Aliwarga
Douglas Avella-Castro
Andrea Canini
Anthony Castanza
Ying-Yu Chen
Monica Cortes Viharo
Toni Ferro
Kristen Garofali
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime
Katya Kolesova
Dylan Mayer
Elizabeth Mills
Chelsea Pagan
David Parsons
Michelle Pham
Shua Sanchez
Viral Shah
Sam Sumpter
Arash Tarkhan