Anti-Discrimination Working Group


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What We Do

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Member Education & Trainings on Anti-Racism Working For Racial Justice in Community & Coalition Departmental Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Engagement Empowering Prevention & Inclusive Community: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Annual Equity Surveys Taking on sexual harassment in academia International Students & Scholars Trans Equity Our history: brief summary of UAW 4121 equity organizing

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Who We Are

  • This group was built out of years of organizing by UAW members on issues of harassment, safety, and discrimination, particularly as those issues escalated in 2016 and 2017. Through collective bargaining and collective action, we are able to effectively organize across departments and campuses to address systemic harassment and workplace inequity by restructuring the balance of power in our learning and working environments. By coming together through our union, we are able to advocate for ourselves and win structural changes that benefit everyone. 
  • We organize to advance anti-racist efforts, including by fighting for structural change at UW and in the broader community. We are proud to be a part of the Coalition to Decriminalize UW, where we work with students, postdocs, staff, and faculty from across UW. We are also proud to be working in solidarity with other unions at UW, in King County, and in Washington State; and with academic worker unions across the country.  
  • We organize to prevent sexual harassment, particularly working from the principles that effective prevention must (a) empower the most vulnerable with meaningful protections and real recourse (b) drive culture change, increase institutional accountability, and address structural inequities, and (c) be led democratically and by the voices of the most vulnerable. 
  • As a union, we also work to address further structural sources of inequity — pay equity and transparency, family leave, affirming health insurance, childcare subsidies, fee waivers, federal policies like travel bans, other threats to international scholars, bathroom access, and more.

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Get Support

Know Your Rights!

Through our hard-won contracts, UW Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Postdocs have some of the strongest protections against discrimination and harassment in the country, including:

  • Protection against discrimination and harassment, including microaggressions, sexual harassment, hostile workplaces, and retaliation.
  • Robust complaint process for discrimination and harassment issues, including interim measures, access to neutral third party arbitration, and union representation to support you during the course of a grievance. 
  • Guaranteed access to safe and comfortable all-gender restrooms.
  • Guaranteed access to safe and comfortable lactation stations.
  • No ASE or Postdoc can be required to work in conditions that pose an imminent threat to health and safety. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the Contract Enforcement Working Group right away, either by emailing or filling out this form. Someone from the working group will get back to you within 24 hours. Additionally, the Department Organizing subgroup of the Anti-Discrimination Working Group is a resource for ASEs and Postdocs who want to organize for change in their departments. To get in touch for support and guidance on building strategic action plans, please fill out this contact form or email with a non-UW email.

Past contract enforcement stories & successes

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Get involved

We meet weekly (via Zoom) to coordinate and strategize ongoing work. All UAW 4121 members are welcome to participate!

Every other week, we have a general All Hands meeting, and on alternate weeks, the three active subgroups meet individually. Our current subgroups are Membership Education, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Committees, and Department Organizing & Mobilization. Additionally, our UAW 4121 Black Caucus meets on the first Tuesday of the month – email for more info and to get involved. 

For more information and to get involved, please fill out this contact form or email with a non-UW email. You can also check the calendar for upcoming meetings. 

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