UAW 4121 - UW Works Because We Do

4/15/20 COVID Actions & Info

PETITION: Call on UW to extend ASE and Postdoc appointments

Help build power for appointment extensions — add your name now!

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our University and broader community. Postdocs and Academic Student Employees are stepping up to the challenge to help sustain a strong research and teaching environment, even under the circumstances. Yet we are significantly strained in meeting mandatory and specified timelines and benchmarks in our research, and as many of us begin to approach the end of our appointments we face significant hardships: particularly for those of us with family/health challenges; visa renewal and travel restrictions; and those facing a now even more difficult job market.

In response to these concerns, members unanimously decided at last week’s membership meeting to circulate
this petition calling on UW administration to extend all ASE and Postdoc appointments through the summer, and to approve all requests for one-year appointment extensions. This petition builds on organizing and conversations already underway through our International Solidarity Working Group and newly-formed Appointments Working Group. It also builds on the demand we made in early March as a strong coalition of UW unions to bargain with UW admin over the impacts of COVID-19 — a demand we are now using to include issues of appointment extension.

It’s critical that every ASE and Postdoc sign on to this petition to help build maximum collective power towards advancing these issues. Please take a minute today to
add your name! If you have questions, are facing immediate concerns because of a nearing appointment end date, or would like to get more involved, please email

Changes to essential research designations

As UW administration continues to update its guidance on essential worker designations, members in some departments have expressed uncertainty about whether they are considered essential and whether they can be required to work on-site. In order to answer members’ specific questions, clarify our rights, and strategize action to address any issues, our Local will be holding a webinar within the next week led by members who have been organizing around these issues. Please RSVP here for more information about that webinar.
In the meantime, if you have questions about your specific situation, please email right away. Note that our contracts are clear that no ASE or Postdoc can be required to work in conditions that pose a threat to health and safety. More info is available at our COVID-19 FAQ.

Help build momentum for the Tax Amazon ballot initiative

This year, the Housing Justice Work Group has been involved with the Tax Amazon ballot initiative movement. The goal of this initiative, championed by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, is to address Seattle’s housing crisis and the threat of climate change by taxing big business in order to fund affordable housing and a Green New Deal. In order to get this initiative onto next Fall’s ballot, we need signatures from 30,000 registered Seattle voters.

If you’re a Seattle voter, you can help by signing the ballot initiative petition. Please sign today!
You can also help by joining other UAW 4121 members for a Tax Amazon phone bank house party. We’ll be calling 4121 members and other Seattle voters to collect signatures. You can help collect signatures even if you’re not a Seattle voter.

  • Where: Zoom
  • When: Saturday from 12-2pm
  • Also stay tuned for future opportunities to join a phone bank house party!

Participate in 2020 census

Historically, communities of color, LGBTQIA+, and low income folks are undercounted in the census, which leads to less representation in our elected officials and reduced funding for schools, hospitals, and other important public services. Make sure you count! So far, only 55% of responses in King County have been received. If you haven’t, please respond online at using the 12 alpha/digit Census ID you got in the mail. No notice in the mail? No computer/internet access? Call 844-330-2020 to get what you need or respond in an optional manner. Note that April 1 is the date that counts but it isn’t the date that all the counting gets done. The counting will continue for many weeks and months — the census just needs to know where you were residing on April 1.

In solidarity,

UAW 4121 Joint Council
Tina Angerer
Douglas Avella-Castro
Leandro Casiraghi
Monica Cortés Viharo
Meg Drouhard
Max Friedfeld
Vern Harner
Dan Hart
Sam Kastner
Kyle Kubler
Kristin McCowan
Emily Myers
Anzela Niraula
Jacob O’Connor
Nayon Park
Marissa Parker
David Parsons
Cristian Proistosescu
Shua Sanchez
Paige Sechrest
Solmaz Shakerifard
Sam Sumpter
Judy Twedt
Jon Witt

UAW 4121 | UW Works Because We Do