Postdocs: NIH Postdoc wage scale increase
We’re returning to the bargaining table! During contract negotiations last year, Postdocs won increased minimum wages matching or exceeding the NIH scale for the first three years of experience. Looking forward, we also won the right to reopen bargaining when the NIH adjusted their recommended scale. Last week, the NIH announced that they had significantly increased their recommended postdoc wages above those in our current contract, reflecting the need to increase equity among postdocs by improving wages. On Tuesday, members had a productive meeting to begin organizing this new campaign. To learn how you can help increase equity and improve wages, please email email@example.com or join the next mobilization meeting this Thursday (2/13) at 5PM on the UW-SLU campus in room SLU-F 107.
Time is running out to participate in the 2020 equity survey!
A 2018 study by the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine reported that rates of harassment in higher education are endemic, coming second only to the military. Thanks to years of 4121 members taking collective action to tackle this issue, we’ve continued to make strides as a union to win structural improvements on issues of equity, inclusion, and access at UW. The annual equity survey 4121 members won during 2018 bargaining is an important component to this work: As a member-driven tool, it enables us to gather longitudinal information about members’ experiences with harassment and bullying in order to build strong strategies for structural change, in a way that’s deeply representative of members’ issues.
The survey only takes 10 minutes to complete, and it’s critical that everyone participate to ensure the data is as representative and compelling as possible. Please take a few minutes to add your voice now!
To share the survey with others in your department, you can use the link tinyurl.com/uw-uaw-es1920.
February Membership Meeting
As a reminder, our monthly membership meeting will be Thursday 2/13 from 5:30-6:30pm in Thomson 125. The proposed agenda for the meeting is as follows:
- Approve Agenda
- Approve Minutes
- Equity Survey Organizing
- Postdocs Start Bargaining Over Wages
- Sexual Harassment Trainings
- Political Action
- Western States Resolution
- Political Action
- Lobby Days Report Back
- Solidarity Actions
All members in good standing are encouraged to attend, and new members may sign up to join the union at the meeting. As always children are welcome!
Last Thursday, UAW 4121 members joined other workers in Olympia to lobby as a part of the Washington State Labor Council. This was an opportunity to meet with workers in other sectors and collectively push for legislative changes to support the labor movement in the state. One of the key issues taken up was the passage of House Bill 1888 which safeguards personal data of federal employees, especially birthdays and addresses, from public record requests. This issue is vital for public employees who work in jobs that can make them targets of harassment or violence, like those in social services or researchers who work with animal studies, as well as any workers who are survivors of domestic violence or stalking.
Other issues raised with legislators include health system and facility transparency (HB 2036), worker protection legislation (HB 1965), Bid listing for public works (ESSB 5457), and cannabis workplace standards (HB 2361/SB 6393). If these topics are of interest to you, or if you want to get more involved with political organizing alongside other workers, reach out to the political working group firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASEs: Check Payslip for FICA Taxes
Some Academic Student Employees have reported that they’ve had Social Security/Medicare (FICA) taxes deducted from their recent paychecks. ASEs should be exempt from this, so please check your payslip and contact email@example.com if you have any deductions for Social Security/Medicare taxes.
UAW 4121 Joint Council
Monica Cortés Viharo