Welcome to all new UAW4121 members! 

RSE: Membership

This will be the last weekly update that will be sent to all Research Scientists. After today, information will only be distributed to members. Please take two minutes and fill out the membership form today. 


Introducing ONE SLACK WORKSPACE for the Local!

It’s here! Connect with fellow members across all units, ask and answer questions, share and learn about opportunities to get involved and grow solidarity with one another. Fill out this form to join the UAW 4121 Slack!

Postdocs: Submit receipts for your OPT or J-1 visa fees 

Under our new collective bargaining agreement, the University must pay for J-1 visa request fees and amendment fees and reimburse Postdocs for J-1 SEVIS I-901 fees and OPT I-765 filing fees. If you are a Postdoc on OPT or a J-1 visa, please submit receipts for the fees you paid using this form. This will help make sure you are getting reimbursed for these fees if you’re eligible.  

ASEs: Add your voice: the ASE 2024 Contract Bargaining Survey is now open!

In early 2024, ASEs will begin negotiating a new contract with the University of Washington. Building a strong, representative bargaining agenda takes all of us coming together throughout the year, starting with this bargaining survey to determine our collective priorities on issues including wages, fee waivers, career development, anti-discrimination, and more. The bargaining survey is open to all members – take 5 minutes to complete the survey today

ASEs: Beware the GAIP Gap!

Sometimes departments don’t get you on payroll quickly enough to have your Graduate Employee Insurance Program (GAIP) activated on October 1. If you are on GAIP, any care you receive will be retroactively covered, however you may encounter issues filling prescriptions, etc. You can call the Benefits Office at 206-543-4444 or the Director of Benefits, Barry Nemeth, at 206-685-3188 for assistance or you can call Lifewise at 800-971-1491 to see if they can issue you a temporary or electronic insurance card. You may also reach out to asehealthcare@uaw4121.org if you want to report this issue. 

RSEs and Postdocs: Applications Open: Become an EPIC Trainer

Members from all three 4121 units (Academic Student Employees, Postdocs, and Research Scientists/Engineers A-4) have the opportunity to participate in and become peer trainers for the Empowering Prevention and Inclusive Communities (EPIC) program. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in empowering their colleagues to create a safer, more equitable environment at UW. These paid part-time positions are now posted and open to applicants.

Know your rights

Our contracts outline a very clear grievance procedure for resolving disputes with the University. If you think your rights have been violated, get in touch with your department steward or, in the absence of a steward, email the Contract Enforcement Working Group (CEWG, contractenforcement@uaw4121.org) as soon as possible, even if you are unsure if an issue is a grievance or if you want to formally file one.

Made up of members who have been trained in our contracts and grievance procedures, the CEWG is a collaborative resource that can help you navigate our contract, brainstorm resources, action plans, and organizing strategies, and if needed, file a grievance. Grievances have important filing deadlines that range from 7 to 180 days depending on the violation, and CEWG won’t move forward with a strategy without the affected person(s)’ consent. You can view the entirety of the contract here:

Academic Student Employee Contract

Postdoc Contract

Research Scientist A-4 Contract

Upcoming Local 4121 Meetings, Events, Trainings 

Student Worker, Postdoc, and Researcher Monthly Meeting

At the September Monthly Membership Meeting, UAW 4121 members reviewed proposed revisions to the bylaws to incorporate our newest unit of employees, Research Scientists and Engineers, A-4 into our Local. Members in attendance voted to send the proposed changes to the Bylaws Committee to review for consistency with existing bylaws and the UAW International Constitution. During our October monthly membership meeting, the Bylaws Committee will share the finalized revisions for members to vote on. If you have questions, suggestions, or would like to join the Bylaws Committee, please email bylaws@uaw4121.org.

Our monthly membership meetings are the 2nd Thursday of the month at 5pm. Our next meeting is October 12th at 5pm on Zoom. RSVP here for the October Membership Meeting! The proposed agenda is as follows:

  • Approve Agenda
  • Approve Minutes
  • Vote on Bylaws Committee revisions
  • Organizing updates
  • Working Group updates
  • Adjourn

Beyond UW 

All members in good standing can submit events/actions by emailing comms@uaw4121.org. Suggested content should be consistent with Local 4121’s core principles

Labor Actions in Higher Ed & Beyond

We’re part of a movement and it’s been another big week in higher ed organizing across the country. Congratulations to: 

Solidarity & Political Actions

Big 3 Strike Ongoing

Our UAW siblings in the auto industry are now on day 20 of a historic stand-up strike with Locals across all of the Big 3 (Stellantis, GM, and Ford) striking simultaneously for the first time in history. This past weekend, 4121 members went down to Portland again and joined our Local 492 automaker siblings on the picket line. 

Interested in joining the picket lines in Portland with fellow 4121 members? Sign up to coordinate transportation! You can also follow Local 492’s Facebook page for more photos, videos, and news about the strike.

Approximately a dozen people stand on the picket line in front of a parts plant in Beaverton, Oregon holding signs that read “UAW on Strike” 
UAW 4121 members joined Local 492 and other community members on the picket line this past Sunday 

In Solidarity, 

Justin Applegate
Lucia Baker
Erica Bigelow
Rebecca Bluett
Francesca Colonnese
Pat Erickson
Max Friedfeld
Colleen Hoffman
Soohyung Hur
Levin Kim
Brianne King
Avi Matarasso
Nicel Mohamed-Hinds
Anzela Niraula
Marissa Parker
Mara Rafferty
Tahiyat Rahman
Anastasia Schaadhardt
Audrey Seo
Samantha Thompson
Natalie Wellen
Tricia Wu
Yuying Xie

The communications team sends out emails on approximately a weekly basis to all members. Generally, these emails will share information to keep you in the loop about union happenings, the labor movement in Washington state and higher ed, and actions we can take to build worker power. If you’re interested in getting involved with the communications working group on an ongoing basis, please reach out to comms@uaw4121.org