The candidates for Trustee are:
The election will take place on Dec. 1 – 3. A link for online voting will be sent to members via email. In-person voting will take place at Drumheller Fountain on Dec. 1 and 2 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Dec. 3 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Online voting will be available from 9:00 am Dec. 1 to 4:00 pm Dec. 3.
A run-off election, if necessary, will be held on Dec. 4. Voting will take place online, and at Drumheller Fountain from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The 2 candidates for Trustee with the highest number of votes will be elected.
All members in good standing at the time of the election are eligible to vote for Executive Board positions. Membership may be obtained at the polling sites. Write-in candidates are not permitted.
Candidate statements can be found below and will be made available at the polls.
Trustee Candidate Statements
In partnership with other rank-and-file UAW Local 4121 members, I am fighting for a democratic Union of mobilized members and a truly collective bargaining process. I come to our Union with a set of skills I’ve gained from community organizing. I will apply that experience to promote worker solidarity in our Union and emphasize social justice issues in bargaining.
I am a third year anthropology graduate student, but like a lot of you folks, I recognize that it’s not enough to just learn and teach about injustices—we have to fight them. As an organizer for Seattle SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction), I’ve worked with other members of my community to prevent home foreclosures and the eviction of working people from their homes: I’ve linked arms with fellow activists, risking arrest to physically stop the evictions from blighting neighborhoods all over Seattle. As the UAW Local 4121 Trustee, I would link arms and organize with academic workers across the UW to demand respect and dignity for our work.
I have strong ties not only at the UW, but also in the Seattle community at large. This is important—it is easy for us academics to see our struggles as removed from the larger battles fought by other working people. We must not forget that our struggles are connected and strong, mobilized unions have the power to work for social justice. If elected, I pledge to promote solidarity with workers’ struggles on campus and across Seattle.
Collective action is powerful. I’m proud to be part of a group of rank-and-file UAW members called Academic Workers For a Democratic Union that just proposed an amendment to our Union’s Bylaws that will give members more democratic control over our Union’s contract negotiations this year. It does not make sense for “collective bargaining” to be restricted solely to Executive Board members. If this amendment passes, any Union member will be empowered to join the bargaining team, and have a vote at the bargaining table.
Changing the bargaining process has real implications—this is an important contract campaign coming up. Health care, wages, and numerous other issues are on our minds. Upcoming battles will be tough: The McCleary decision has made clear that up to 15% budget cuts are coming UW’s way, which will be felt by every department across campus. But with a bargaining team composed of dozens of mobilized academic workers, we can work together to win the strongest contract possible.
Yes, there’s strength in numbers. And we’re just getting started. I will fight to further democratize our Union, mobilize our membership, and work for common good and social justice in bargaining.
I am a second-year Geography graduate student running for the Trustee Position of our union, UAW Local 4121. I am interested in joining the Executive Board of our Union because my experiences as an academic worker at the University of Washington and a student movement organizer in Ohio have convinced me of the importance of building collective power for students and workers at the UW. As a Trustee, I will engage and mobilize our Union’s membership, and approach this year’s contract negotiations by building solidarity to advance a broad vision of social change. My work as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Geography prepares me to understand how the terms of our new contract will play out in the classrooms, offices, and households of UW academic workers. My membership in the UAW for the past year gives me a familiarity with the organizing process, and the relationships that we maintain with other unions and organizations in the university.
My approach to serving as your Trustee is founded on my experiences organizing for educational justice in Ohio. As an undergraduate student at Ohio State University (OSU), I organized with other undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, university service workers, and organizers not affiliated with the university. We worked on teams to plan demonstrations, research projects, teach-ins, and a three-day open-air event inviting professors to redirect their class time toward collective problem-solving around university issues. These activities culminated in a meeting of student leaders from around the state at which we formed a network called the Ohio Student Association (OSA). The OSA focuses on building strategic relationships to respond collectively to interconnected structural problems relating to the education system. Some of our projects have included creating a statewide Fellowship Program, voter registration toward relational capacity-building, and organizing collective pressure to influence local and state policy decisions.
My background in organizing in Ohio motivates my membership and involvement in the UAW in several key ways. The graduate students at OSU are not currently represented by a union, and I saw the structural limitations to organizing without it. Unions can provide a powerful institutional basis for collective action. But the institution must be democratic, participatory, and most importantly, responsive to the changing needs of its members. For the past few months, my involvement in the Union has deepened as I have joined other members in pushing for a more democratic union that maintains a far-reaching vision of collective power and social change. As a member of Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU), I will be especially open to the needs and input of union members, and work towards bringing the principles of social movement unionism to our Union. My interest in serving as a Trustee is rooted in my conviction that the UAW can be a crucial institution for advancing the collective power of academic workers in our community.
My name is Elizabeth Scarbrough and I am running for UAW 4121 trustee. I have been a member of the Union since starting my graduate career, and more recently I have been a Steward for Region 3. I have worked on numerous grievances, and have a special interest in representing members in grievances who are facing hostile or chilly work environments. I also founded the micro-aggressions work group in order to address pervasive patterns of disadvantage and discrimination our members face. I have seen a couple rounds of bargaining, and am familiar with the process. I’ve had many jobs during my graduate career, including as a TA (Philosophy Department), RA (Program on Values), Editorial Assistant, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy (Simpson Center), Research Fellow (University of Washington Press), and now as the director of a writing center (Philosophy Department). This breadth of experience has given me insight into the myriad roles ASEs play on campus. I am committed to all people, regardless of job classification or discipline, having a strong voice in our Union and I believe I can faithfully represent the views of those I would represent.
With a new round of negotiations upon us, the need for an informed and engaged membership has never been greater. Maintaining transparency with and encouraging the participation of the members is a primary duty of the local’s elected leaders. I have been a member of the local for more than two years. And in these two years I have seen nothing but the highest level of commitment, integrity, and accountability from our local’s executive board. As a trustee of the local, these are the values I will strive to uphold.
I know first hand how important a role the elected leaders play in inspiring active involvement of all members. It has always been the strong leadership and inclusive decision-making of the past and current executive board that has motivated me to be active in our local. During the past two years in the local, I have been active in many of our local’s efforts, while working on my research in atmospheric sciences. Firstly, I have served as one term each as the chair of the election committee, and as a steward in region 4. I am a member of the healthcare and political workgroups. I have participated in efforts to increase solidarity with other unions on the campus, and local community groups. I have stood up in support of our members and various student groups on campus to repeal the international student fee. I have contributed in our local’s outreach activities, including phone banks and incoming ASE orientations for the past two years. The orientation this fall, in particular, was a huge success, with more than 800 incoming ASE’s accepting membership.
I believe that our local has achieved a great deal in the past, and my role, if elected as a trustee, will be to continue to build upon these achievements, during bargaining and beyond.