Monday, August 19, 2019
It’s been ten weeks since we ratified our first Postdoc Union contract on June 11th. We are proud of the progress Postdocs have made together, and look forward to the involvement and leadership of the incoming Postdoc cohort who will arrive as fall approaches. This week’s Postdoc Union email covers five agenda topics:
- Union membership
- U-PASS update
- Postdoc parents meeting
- ICE site visits for STEM OPT scholars
- Abstract submissions for the UWPA Research Symposium 2019
Signing up for membership is the most important step to enforce Postdoc rights and protections, and prepare for rapidly approaching negotiations with Administration. This June, Postdocs agreed with Admin that if/when the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) stipend levels increase, we will begin bargaining within thirty calendar days of the NIH notice. To prepare for national changes to NRSA stipends and the upcoming 2021 negotiations, the best step to take right now is to sign up for membership.
As UW transportation services communicated last Friday, the fully subsidized U-PASS for Postdocs is now active on our Husky cards! This should be automatic, so signing up is no longer necessary. If you don’t have a Husky card yet, or if your Husky card is incompatible with the U-PASS, visit the Husky Card ID center or the UWMC Public Safety Office to get a (new) Husky card. Don’t forget to tap your Husky card on an ORCA card reader within 60 days to activate the U-PASS! If your U-PASS is not working due to “Insufficient Funds,” please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try to work this out with the UW administration on an individual basis.
Postdoc parents meeting
This Tuesday, August 20th from 12:00-1:00pm in Guthrie 315, the Postdoc Parents working group will meet over lunch. All Postdocs are welcome to come get to know each other and discuss how to implement the first-ever childcare subsidies for Postdocs that are now enshrined in our contract. If you are interested, come to the meeting and/or email email@example.com to get involved.
ICE site visits for scholars on STEM OPT
News outlets have recently reported (here and here, for example) that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers could question international students and company managers during new site visits underway to investigate students/scholars on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Currently, there have not been publicly recorded instances of these site visits.
- Responding Nationally: We are working with other UAW Locals that represent academic workers, as well as partners on and off campus, to respond. Our union has successfully pushed for years to protect and expand the STEM OPT program, and worked with Rep Jayapal and other advocates in Congress (see this House of Representatives letter) to push back against discriminatory profiling of students and scholars on campus.
- Know Your Rights: If you are approached, you are under no obligation to reply to ICE. Inform your PI or supervisor and contact us immediately.
- Working Group: The union’s International Solidarity workgroup is convening Tuesday, August 27th at 5pm in Research Commons Red A. If you want to help with this and other international Postdocs issues, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The Working Group will work on practical ways in which we can use our contract and our organizing powers to help ensure all International Postdocs are prepared and have a support system. For example, we recently bargained a new right to request an individual development plan, or IDP. The work group also will work together to share stories, create a response network, and have a stronger political voice through our union.
Abstract submissions for the UWPA Research Symposium 2019
This annual event showcases a portion of the tremendous work conducted by UW Postdocs, and fosters community that supports Postdocs as national and international leaders of scientific, engineering and technology research. The Research Symposium will last from 12-6pm on September 20th in South Campus Center Room 316. Submit your abstract proposals to email@example.com.
The UW Postdocs United / UAW 4121 Bargaining Committee:
Tina Angerer, Bioengineering
Pamela Baker, Biological Structure
Leandro Casiraghi, Biology
Matthew Crane, Chemistry
Ivan Cruz, Biological Structure
Marina Dütsch, Earth and Space Sciences
Max Friedfeld, Chemistry
Kelly Hines, Medicinal Chemistry
Hannah Horowitz, Atmospheric Sciences
Ajay Jajodia, Medical Genetics
Andrew Jenkins, Chemistry
Jiae Lee, Biochemistry
Michael Mack, Chemistry
Kim Meier, Psychology
Kelly Patton, Physics
Cristi Proistosescu, Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean
Abdul Basit Shaikh, Pharmaceutics
Michael Taylor, Bioengineering
Jian Wang, Chemistry
Alex White, Psychology
Huajun Xu, Chemistry