Monday, April 22, 2019
In this email:
- Seattle City Council Session on May 8th
- Contact your local representative
- Bargaining updates
- Memo on rules governing appointment length
- UPASS rally and petition
Seattle City Council Work Session:
Confronting Discrimination and Harassment:
Best Practices, Worker Needs & Actions at the University of Washington
Wednesday May 8th, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
University Friends Meeting House, 4001 9th Avenue NE
RSVP; Facebook page; Add to your Google Calendar
The Seattle City Council’s Committee on Housing and Workers Rights (Chaired by Teresa Mosqueda) will lead a discussion about the prevalence of discrimination and harassment in Academia. This will be a great opportunity to publicly discuss serious problems of discrimination and harassment at UW and universities throughout the country. We will highlight how they connect with other features of our work (such as economic insecurity and vulnerabilities due to international status), and how we are negotiating for solutions that follow national recommendations.
If we finish negotiations by May 8th, we can discuss how our collective bargaining agreement sets standards to better confront these problems. If not, we will discuss what is preventing us from being able to enact these reforms.
Please RSVP here!
Contact your local representative:
The state legislature is currently deciding budget allocations for UW. This is an opportunity to inform our legislators of the unreasonably lengthy journey towards our first contract.
We have put together a resource to help you contact your local representatives: http://www.uwpostdocsunited.
Please take a few minutes to call and/or email your representative by Tuesday, April 23rd!
We had two bargaining sessions last week. While we are still awaiting other proposals by UW, we did reach agreement on:
- Retirement Benefits: Postdocs will continue to get retirement benefits (including matched contributions) according to the eligibility requirements set by the university and the state; as part of a collective bargaining agreement we’ll have stronger enforcement mechanisms.
- Memorandum of Understanding on Time Reporting: the State government may raise the minimum salary to be eligible for overtime wages. Postdocs are currently above the minimum and overtime exempt. If that changes, we will bargain with the Administration over any necessary policy changes.
In addition, after many weeks of negotiation, the University offered a free U-PASS for all Postdocs. Because this is part of a larger economic package, we are not agreeing to it separately. But the offer itself is a big victory and the product of more than a year of mobilizing.
Much of our discussion last week focused on Non-Discrimination and Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Training. We made some important progress in those areas. However, we are still striving for the nationally recommended standards that provide courses of action for everyday conduct that is discriminatory/harassing, and that improve mechanisms for reporting.
Another important topic is Healthcare Benefits for Postdocs who are paid direct. Our position from the beginning has been that all Postdocs must receive adequate healthcare. On Friday, an international paid-direct Postdoc who was unable to get necessary health coverage gave poignant testimony. So far the Administration has resisted finding a way to include paid-direct Postdocs in the standard health plan, so we will continue to mobilize and fight for a solution.
We are still optimistic that we can reach a fair agreement by early May, but only if we continue to mobilize. You can read all current proposals and tentative agreements here.
Questions About Postdoc Appointment Length
There continues to be confusion and misinformation about rules on the total duration of Postdoc tenure. Please read this memo for more information, and refer your department administrators to it if they have any questions.
Contact us if you have any questions or have experienced difficulty with your employment duration.
UPASS rally and petition
The campaign to bring a fully-subsidized U-PASS to all UW employees is continuing with a rally on Earth Day, April 22nd at the UW Link Station at 11:30 am. Add your name to this petition to encourage UW to lead the way in sustainability by subsidizing transit passes for all employees.
The UW Postdocs United / UAW 4121 Bargaining Committee
Tina Angerer, Bioengineering
Pamela Baker, Biological Structure
Matthew Crane, Chemistry
Marina Dütsch, Earth and Space Sciences
Max Friedfeld, Chemistry
Hannah Horowitz, Atmospheric Sciences
Megan Ivory, Physics
Ajay Jajodia, Medical Genetics
Andrew Jenkins, Chemistry
Jiae Lee, Biochemistry
Michael Mack, Chemistry
Kelly Patton, Physics
Cristi Proistosescu, Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean
Abdul Basit Shaikh, Pharmaceutics
Thomas Smith, Medical Genetics
Michael Taylor, Bioengineering
Jian Wang, Chemistry
Alex White, Psychology
Huajun Xu, Chemistry