|Dear UAW Member,
Postdocs Bargaining & Solidarity Action
Postdocs are in continuing bargaining sessions for their first contract with UW. Some progress is being made and agreements have been reached on important issues like a fair grievance procedure and protections against arbitrary terminations.. However the University is continuing to resist proposals that would bring UW in line with national recommendations around creating a more equitable work environment by improving protections and reporting processes against harassment and discrimination, as well as improving wages, and making healthcare more inclusive. You can read more about UW Postdocs’ campaign here.
On May 8th, from 5-7 at the University Friends Meeting, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda will be hosting a work session of the city council focused on confronting harassment and discrimination at UW and hearing from Postdocs about their experiences and what they are attempting to do through collective bargaining to address it. Please attend to show your support! RSVP here and please speak to your coworkers about coming out to this event.
The session will feature testimony from several postdocs, expert testimony, remarks from a postdoc on the UWPU bargaining committee, plus a public comment period. Having a strong turnout will be essential, so postdocs are asking ASEs to come and show solidarity.
Washington State is implementing a new Family/Medical Leave law (which our Local supported along with a coalition of union/community groups in 2017), that provides 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave (including childbirth) for employees who have worked 820 hours or more per year. In our contract negotiations last year, UW Administration agreed to negotiate with us after October of 2018 over how premiums, eligibility and policies would be incorporated into our collective bargaining agreement (see this Memorandum of Understanding). However, UW has unilaterally begun collecting premiums from ASEs without bargaining, prompting us to file a grievance under Article 8 of our contract as well as an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the Public Employees Relations Commission.
The University will now be refunding premiums to ASEs, and has agreed to bargain over these provisions. We expect to meet with UW Administration in the coming weeks: please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or want to get involved.
Earth Day and U-PASS Rally
Over the past year, our union has worked alongside other campus unions, community groups, and progressive allies to pressure UW to provide full subsidized transit passes for all. These efforts have succeeded at moving UW to offer a free U-PASS for ASEs, Postdocs, and thousands of others, but the fight for a free U-pass for all continues. UW is considering a rate increase for U-PASS for thousands of employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements. In order to show that we believe that this is a step in the wrong direction for climate justice, UAW members participated in an Earth Day rally last week where they told UW that we believe UW should provide fully-subsidized transit passess to all their employees. Additionally postdocs in the Union helped write an editorial laying out exactly why this issue is so important. If you’re interested in learning how else to help push for free transit for UW employees and other important climate justice issues please reach out to email@example.com.
GAIP Update from Healthcare Working Group
Last week, members of the healthcare working group met with UW Labor Relations and Lifewise as part of a Joint Health Care Committee to discuss improving implementation of our transgender health provisions and increasing ease of access to ADHD medications at Hall Health, among other issues. The healthcare working group will be releasing a newsletter in the near future that will discuss in detail the ongoing discussions with the University as well as several tips and tricks to save money on prescription drugs. If you are interested in getting more involved with these discussions or have healthcare related issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Ironworkers Support Families of Crane Collapse Victims
Saturday afternoon a construction crane collapsed in downtown tragically killing four individuals. Two of those people were ironworkers on the crane and now the Ironworkers Local 86 is collecting donations to help support the families of our fallen union siblings. You can contribute by clicking this link or by calling 1-877-769-4766.
Monica Cortés Viharo