The nomination acceptance period for our union’s newly established Defense Committee has closed. We are happy to announce the following new committee members, all of whom are uncontested.  Below each member is their candidate statement original candidate statement, if provided.  Congratulations to all!


Region 1 (Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biological Structure, Biomolecular Structure and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Fisheries, Genome Sciences, Immunology, Marine Affairs, Medicinal Chemistry, Neuroscience, Nutritional Science, Oceanography, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacy, Physics, Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management)

  • Catrin Wendt
  • Tyler Gordon

    I will bring my experience organizing ahead of our one-day strike last May to build links between our local and other allied organizations and to ensure that we are prepared for future actions.

  • Meredith Durbin
  • Anthony Ciavarella

    I am a second year graduate student in physics and I am interested in being a member of the Defense Committee. During last year’s bargaining, I volunteered as a member of the Communications Committee to encourage union members to participate in our May 15th strike. While I was glad to have the opportunity to assist in strike organization, I would like to be able to take a more active role in union activities.

Region 2 (Aeronautics and Astronautics, Applied Mathematics, CLUE, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Family Medicine, Geography, Global Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, History, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, Slavic Languages and Literature, The Information School, Human Centered Design and Engineering)

  • Os Keyes​

    I’m a (soon-to-be) second year PhD student in Human Centered Design & Engineering. During the last campaign I acted as a witness to the bargaining sessions, helped organise the North picket site, gave a speech at the rally on trans healthcare and generally nuisanced the administration.

    After the campaign ended, I was one of the people who put the proposal for the Defence Committee together, and I’m running for the same reason I did that – because we found ourselves unprepared for sustained mass action during the campaign. ASEs found ourselves in the dark about what was going on, uncertain about our status, untrained for organising or direct action, and with sometimes-contradictory ideas about what the state of play even was.

    We can’t allow that to happen again: we need to be able to approach the next campaign with a strong union community who are informed, prepared and enabled to participate so that we can get the best deal for each other. We need to do much more work collaborating with other unions on campus so that we can support them in their negotiations, and make sure that UW isn’t just a place we can afford to live at, but a place custodians, laundryworkers, tutors and other impoverished workers can afford too.

    My priorities over the next three years are:

    1. Creating an ongoing program of events, trainings and opportunities to get involved in order to build a sense of community and pride in Union members. We are at our strongest when we can learn from and help each other.
    2. Making and maintaining resources – FAQs, letters, training packets, histories of the last strike – that we can use in future negotiations and to better bring new ASEs on board. If we prepare for the worst we avoid being painfully surprised.
    3. Collaborating with other unions and groups on campus in support of their fights for better pay and conditions, and a more equitable UW.

Region 3 (American Ethnic Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian Languages and Literatures, Center for Humanities, Center for Social Science Computation and Research, Center for Statistics and Social Sciences, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, Communication, Comparative History of Ideas, Comparative Literature, Economics, Education, English, English as a Second Language, EO – English Language Programs, Experimental Education Unit, Ethnic Cultural Center, French and Italian, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Jackson School of International Studies, Law, Societies & Justice, Linguistics, Math, Music, Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Scandinavian Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, Statistics)

  • Amzi Jeffs

    During the latest contract campaign the UW administration took a number of problematic steps against the union. The administration forced us to fight for cheap, common-sense proposals, and left little room for focus on important economic issues like wages and fees. We experienced condescension, stalling, and use of police force to weaken our position during negotiations.

    Personally, I’d rather not take these insults lying down. Let’s organize ourselves, build solidarity with others, and lay the foundations for powerful resistance to the corporatized, bureaucratic wing of the university.

  • Tejas Devanur

    Mindy Kornberg was right, the world is just not there yet. It is becoming a better place in some ways though. The UW can too, even before our next contract. Now that the administration has thrown a hundred bucks in our faces and finished us off, they’ve moved on to deal similarly with the maintenance workers, the postdocs and others. There’s a lot to be done in the next three years with workers on and off campus to make it clear that the university is comprised of us, and that the rich board members and executives are a parasitic presence that must be fought.

  • Rutger Ceballos

    My name is Rutger Ceballos, and I am running to serve as a member of the Defense Committee for Region 3. I believe this to be a critical moment for our union, for academic workers, and for organized labor more generally. We are under attack by powerful anti-labor forces working hard to undermine our collective power and our hard-won labor rights. As a member of the Defense Committee, I will work to build our union’s strength by focusing on organizing our membership, reaching out to allied unions to increase our power through solidarity, and preparing our union to take direct action in support of our demands.

    This past May, we saw what solidarity and worker power could look like on our campus. Our one-day strike action drew critical attention to our struggles as student-workers and showed the administration that we are willing to fight for our rights as workers and as union members. Through our direct actions, we won key victories, including better mental health care and historic trans-inclusive health care coverage. But more needs to be done. We need to continue pushing for a living wage; for a greater commitment to racial and gender equity; and for a greater democratic voice in the administration of the University of Washington.

    To build a more equitable, democratic, and inclusive UW we will need to be better prepared to take action to defend our union and fight for our vision. Before coming to the UW as a graduate student, I worked as a union organizer for SEIU 1199NW. I helped organized healthcare workers across Washington State, including helping to lead the organizing of hundreds of healthcare workers within the UW Medical system. Those experiences taught me the importance of “”deep organizing”” – we need to be reaching out to all our members, in every department, and build up a well-informed, well-organized rank-in-file membership. We do this by identifying and training leaders in every department, having one-on-one conversations with our co-workers, and creating sustainable lines of communications to all our members. With hard work and diligent organizing, I believe we can build a powerful union capable of carrying out industrial actions with strong majorities in each department.

    Regardless of whether you vote for me, I am excited to be a part of UAW 4121 at this time in our history. Now is the time to join together, in solidarity with each other and in solidarity with workers from every industry, to resist and rise together to build a new labor movement. We can do this by organizing within our union, joining in solidarity with other workers, and taking direct action to advance our rights.

    Please consider voting for me as a Region 3 Representative of the Defense Committee. Thank you for your consideration. Solidarity Forever!

Region 4 (Anthropology, Art, Art History, Atmospheric Science, Bothell Centers and Programs, Burke Museum, Classics, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Center for Instructional Development and Research, Dance, Drama, DX Arts, Earth and Space Sciences, Evans School of Public Affairs, Germanics, GOMAP, Grant and Contract Services, Language Learning Center, Navy, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Office of Educational Assessment, Office of Minority Affairs, Office of Minority Affairs Instructional Center, Program on Climate Change, Psychology, School of Business, School of Law, Social Work, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Student Athletic Academic Services, Tacoma Centers and Programs)

  • (no nominations in Region 4)

Region 5 (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, Bioengineering, Bioethics and Humanities, Biostatistics, Cardiology, Center for Quantitative Science in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dentistry, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, College of Forest Resources, Global Health, Health Services, Laboratory Medicine, Materials Science and Engineering, Medical Education, Medical History and Ethics, Medical Scientist Training Program, Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Engineering, Nursing, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oral Biology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Pathobiology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Periodontics, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics, Psychiatry, Radiology, Urology)

  • ​Sarah Romano​



The bylaws of the Defense Committee may be viewed here.  In short, its goals are

  • Participating in and recruiting for solidarity actions with other unions.
  • Conducting direct action campaigns in order to strengthen our position as a local.
  • Building links between UAW 4121 and on- and off-campus organizations dedicated to advancing equity and fairness.

We look forward to the service of our new committee members toward these goals.  Their terms run through September 2021.