Results of Paid Family Medical Leave Ratification Vote
The ratification vote on the Paid Family Medical Leave tentative agreement has closed, and members have voted at a rate of 95.4% (439 yes, 21 no) to approve making this change to our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This new language will be integrated into our CBA effective immediately. Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) benefits become available starting January 1, 2020, so we believe it is in the best interests of members to have clarity on how these terms apply to ASEs in advance. However, this is not the end of this issue, and it will continue to be a priority during next year’s bargaining, which members have decided to begin preparing for now. For more information about the PFML program, and our settlement to the unfair labor practice charge we filed earlier this year, please check out last week’s email.
Call for Aid for Detained Student
Waleed Salem, a national citizen of Egypt, is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Washington. His dissertation fieldwork took him back to Cairo, where he was arrested and detained for 200 days without trial or formal charges. Waleed has no ties to subversive political groups; his research is driven by a quest for analytical explanation rather than political ideology or partisan affiliation. Seven months after his release, he is still involuntarily in Egypt because of “probationary measures” that prohibit his leaving the country. His inability to resume work in Seattle, where he had lived and worked for the five years immediately before his Cairo fieldwork trip, along with legal fees and family-support obligations, have severely strained his family’s finances. Most tragically, he is unable to be with his young daughter.
Waleed’s “on leave” status (initially for the fieldwork trip) renders him ineligible for all of the University of Washington’s financial-assistance options and the political situation prevents him from finding employment in Egypt. We are asking for financial contributions to help Waleed during a very difficult life circumstance and financial dilemma. You can do so directly to Waleed through Venmo (@uw_waleed) or Paypal (www.paypal.me/wksalem), or by giving cash/check to Michael McCann (UW Political Science Main Office in Gowen Hall 101, M-F 8:30-5pm, except 12-1pm). If you have more questions you can reach out to Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Michael McCann (email@example.com).
Please also forward this message via email only (no social media due to security concerns) among your colleagues, friends and family. We appreciate any amount of support that can be provided for Waleed.
2019 Elections – Seattle City Council – Ballots due 11/5
Local and state elections are extremely important, which is why political action committees and corporations are pouring in unprecedented amounts of money to try and defeat progressive candidates on the ballot this election. It’s essential that all eligible members vote to try and ensure local government remains pro-worker and pro-equity. We’ve endorsed the following candidates for Seattle city council:
- D1 Lisa Herbold
- D2 Tammy Morales
- D3 Kshama Sawant
- D4 Shaun Scott
- D5 Debora Juarez
- D6 Dan Strauss
- D7 Andrew Lewis
For more information about why we’ve endorsed these candidates, and for a list of all of our endorsements, check out our endorsements list. For more information about voting — including how to access and return your ballot — check out last week’s membership email.
Academic Workers Organizing Across the Country
The organizing of Academic Student Employees and Postdocs here at UW is part of a larger national movement of academic workers organizing for equity and fair working conditions at the grassroots level. After a strong strike authorization vote this month, this week 5000 Academic Researchers at the University of California reached tentative agreement on their first ever contract! Once it is ratified, they will join 6500 UC Postdocs as members of UAW 5810. In addition, 5000 graduate students at Harvard passed a strike authorization vote last Friday by an over 90% majority. This is as contract negotiations are stalling over essential provisions such as compensation, health benefits, and the right to third party arbitration in cases of harassment or discrimination. These are exciting developments in our increasingly powerful movement nationwide as academic workers continue to recognize the power of organizing for addressing equity and structural injustice in higher ed.
Monica Cortés Viharo