UAW 4121 - UW Works Because We Do

COVID-19 Updates & Your Rights

As you may have seen, the situation around coronavirus and COVID-19 continues to rapidly change. For up to date information, please visit King County Public Health and UW Coronavirus Resource Page. Yesterday, we learned about the first case of coronavirus at UW, and President Cauce announced plans to move classes online and mitigate social contact on campus. Also, in coalition with other campus unions (representing nurses, medical residents/interns, custodians, classified staff, techs, journalists, and others), we have reached out to UW Administration to ensure that all issues are addressed quickly and with respect and understanding for all workers and students. This includes decisions relating to time off, quarantine, staffing time, incident reporting, and the like. We also will work in coalition to ensure that the University community maintains our commitment to equity and takes all steps necessary to prevent racist and xenophobic impacts of any policy changes. As such we jointly filed a demand to bargain with the University over impacts resulting from policy decisions/changes stemming from COVID-19.

Both the Academic Student Employee and Postdoc contracts already secure protections for leaves, health and safety, non-discrimination, and more. Please review your rights and let us know right away if you have any questions or concerns. Also please be sure to reach out at if you are having trouble negotiating arrangements with any aspect of your work regarding COVID-19 and an elected representative will help and support you.

General Recommendations

If you feel sick, stay home.

If you develop symptoms – fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your health provider.

Stay in contact with your advisor/program coordinator/ PI/ supervisor to develop contingency plans and discuss plans to work from home.

  • Many individual departments or labs have already sent recommendations for telecommuting, cancelling meetings/seminars, etc. If you are unsure how to manage your teaching responsibilities remotely, check with your department or immediate supervisor.

Health & Safety

Both the ASE (Article 9) and Postdoc (Article 8) contracts are clear that ASEs and Postdocs shall not be required to work in conditions that pose an imminent threat to health and safety. If you feel unsafe in your workspace and your department or supervisor has not made accommodations for alternate work options, please email immediately.

Time Off & Leaves

Our contracts also describe provisions for both paid and unpaid leaves should you need them. ASEs’ leave rights are in Article 17 of the ASE contract, and Postdocs’ leave rights are in Article 24 of the Postdoc contract. If you have been instructed by your doctor to self-isolate due to COVID-19, you should not face any reduction in pay and are eligible for additional accommodations. Again, please contact if you have any questions or concerns.

In solidarity,

UAW 4121 Joint Council
Tina Angerer
Douglas Avella-Castro
Leandro Casiraghi
Monica Cortés Viharo
Meg Drouhard
Max Friedfeld
Vern Harner
Dan Hart
Sam Kastner
Kyle Kubler
Kristin McCowan
Emily Myers
Anzela Niraula
Jacob O’Connor
Nayon Park
Marissa Parker
David Parsons
Cristian Proistosescu
Shua Sanchez
Paige Sechrest
Solmaz Shakerifard
Sam Sumpter
Judy Twedt
Jon Witt

UAW 4121 | UW Works Because We Do