Friday, April 5, 2019
In this email:
- Seattle City Council Session on May 8th
- Update from the bargaining table
- April Action plan
- #MeTooSTEM workshops April 17th-18th
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 Here; Facebook page here
The Seattle City Council’s Committee on Housing and Workers Rights (Chaired by Teresa Mosqueda) will convene a work session to learn more about discrimination and harassment at UW, and how our union will address these problems through a fair collective bargaining agreement. Postdocs who have experienced discrimination and harassment while at UW will give presentations, and experts will speak to why academia is one of the worst industries in terms of prevalence of discrimination and harassment. A member of the University Administration will speak, and a member of our bargaining committee will discuss the bargaining process.
Please RSVP here! In addition to highlighting the severity of these problems, it’s a great opportunity to hold the University accountable if we have not finished bargaining by that date (nearly a year after our 90% Yes vote to unionize).
Yesterday morning, Admin passed us a comprehensive package with new proposals on Appointments & Reappointments, Leaves, and Titles & Classifications, an MOU on Transportation, and a “Side Letter” on Sexual Harassment. The package re-asserted 6 of their previous proposals, and specifies that we would entirely withdraw our proposals on Childcare, Time & Effort Commitment, Retirement benefits, and Definitions.
The Admin’s package represents a significant increase in the pace of bargaining, and brings us closer to agreement. However, several of their proposals are still unacceptable.
We responded with three packages that included all proposals not yet agreed to. Highlights include Wages, Benefits, Childcare, and Sexual Harassment and Prevention Training. You can read all current proposals and tentative agreements here.
There are six more bargaining dates scheduled in the next six weeks. This could be enough to reach a fair agreement, provided that we continue to mobilize.
This Wednesday, ~50 Postdocs gathered to brainstorm a plan to win a strong contract in the next month. Postdocs are clearly fired up and ready to mobilize. Among the specific actions you can take are:
- Contact your elected officials! They can encourage UW to rapidly conclude contract negotiations in order to address the financial precarity, workplace harassment, and other issues Postdocs face. Please fill out this form to determine your county, city, legislative and congressional districts, and our political workgroup will follow up with you. International Postdocs are able to participate as well.
- Participate in the Equity Survey! Over 550 Postdocs have participated already. Please add your voice.
- Contact us to attend a meeting in your department to plan further actions, including outreach for May 8th turnout.
Join us April 18th for #WeToo
The founder of #MeTooSTEM, Dr. BethAnn McLaughlin, is hosting multiple seminars and workshops on April 17-18 and has invited us to participate. Our union will be workshopping #WeToo: Taking on harassment & discrimination through collective action and collective bargaining, Thursday, April 18, 3:00 – 5:00 pm, Health Sciences G-328. Please join us to learn about the rise of academic unions nationwide and how we are making an impact on issues of harassment, discrimination, inclusivity and equity.
We appreciate hearing your questions or concerns.
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