Feb 182021
 
 February 18, 2021
UAW 4121

Support a more equitable family leave program in WA

Please sign the petition to expand paid family leave in Washington State! Two years ago, our union fought in coalition to pass the WA state Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, which is one of the most progressive leave programs in the country. As the program has been implemented, a number of improvements are apparent, from making sure that employees taking leave won’t lose their jobs to making sure that ASEs and Postdocs can qualify for the eligibility requirements. The WA state legislature is currently considering legislation (HB 1073) to improve this program, which means we have a critical opportunity to  make sure PFML is equitable and accessible for as many people as possible. Sign this petition today to support a progressive improvement of this program so more workers across the state can take paid family and medical leave.

Postdocs have reached a Tentative Agreement! 

We have reached a tentative agreement on the Postdoc collective bargaining agreement (CBA)! Through our contract campaign, Postdocs have secured a number of important gains and set the foundation for continued improvements in the future. While more work remains, this CBA helps us reach our goal of creating more equitable working conditions for Postdocs at UW: in particular for some of the most vulnerable. The Postdoc Bargaining Committee unanimously recommends acceptance of the tentative agreement and a vote to ratify. The ratification vote will take place electronically from Monday Feb 22nd through Monday March 1st, so check your email for your ballots on Monday! Please visit the Postdoc Bargaining Center for full summaries of the Tentative Agreement and more information on the Ratification vote.

ASE Bargaining – Get Involved! 

At last week’s membership meeting, over 60 union members discussed and voted unanimously in favor of a framework for wage proposals we’ll bring to the bargaining table when Academic Student Employee (ASE) contract negotiations begin. Members agreed that significantly higher wages are needed to make UW competitive with peer schools, meet the needs of current members, and address equity on campus, especially recruitment and retention of underrepresented ASEs. Our Compensation Workgroup (see below) will build from this momentum to develop specific contract proposals in the coming weeks. 

What we can win in bargaining will be a direct function of our collective power and investment in each other — how many ASEs are union members, how effectively we can communicate and take action together, and more. As we get closer to bargaining, all members are encouraged to get involved in a number of critical ways: 

  • Build our collective organizing capacity by connecting with fellow ASEs: Email ase-organizing@uaw4121.org to get connected with other organizers in your area and get support on how to deepen communication networks & build power in your department.
  • Help develop contract proposals by participating in member-led workgroups: wages & fees (email compensation@uaw4121.org); healthcare (email asehealthcare@uaw4121.org); campus climate, mentorship, & support for underrepresented groups (email anti-discrimination@uaw4121.org). No prior experience necessary!
  • Participate in bargaining sessions: Once negotiations begin, all members will be welcome and encouraged to participate in bargaining sessions.

To keep up to date as bargaining approaches, bookmark the ASE Bargaining Center. Proposals, opportunities to get involved, and more will be posted regularly!

Cross-Local Housing Justice Conference

What: Housing justice action conference cohosted by UAW 2865, UAW 4121, UAW 4123, and UAW 5810
When: March 10 from 5-6:30pm
How to joinRSVP here!

ASEs and Postdocs are overwhelmingly rent burdened: meaning we pay over 30% and often over 50% of our wages in rent. We’re not the only group of workers to suffer from the housing affordability crisis, and the Puget Sound is not the only region where this is a major problem.
Skyrocketing housing costs are rooted in actions by powerful landlords, and this includes Universities in major cities. Recently our Housing Justice Working Group has been having conversations with other unionized academic workers in California about how we can organize together for housing justice by pressuring major landlords — including Universities — to take responsibility for their role in driving up housing costs.  

Join this growing coalition on March 10 at 5:00 p.m. for a meeting to identify big ideas for doing this work and to start developing action plans with other UAW members from California. It’s important that this conversation include a representative group from every city who experience the housing problem in different ways. RSVP here to receive the Zoom information, and email housing-justice@uaw4121.org if you have any questions.

Get Involved with the Income Inequality Working Group!

Join fellow union members in using our organized power to fight for public funding for research and education, as well as for the programs and safety nets needed for ASEs, Postdocs, and other working people in Washington to live healthy and fulfilling lives. While the Puget Sound area is home to some of the largest multinational corporations and the nation’s wealthiest billionaires, Washington State has the most unfair, regressive tax system of any state. With state budgets starved for cash, funding for research and education are constantly under threat. The newly formed Income Inequality working group will be working on organizing at the local, state, and federal level so that we can expand the pie instead of fighting over an ever-shrinking one. Please register here if you’re interested in future meetings!

Take Action – Tell UW to Fully Divest from Fossil Fuels

In solidarity with grassroots movements for climate justice, our local supporting Institutional Climate Action (ICA) – a climate justice divestment coalition of students from UW who are organizing in solidarity for a future free from fossil fuel investments. ICA believes that Washington’s publicly funded higher education must model the clean and just transition away from fossil fuels that’s required to confront the climate crisis and establish a more healthy and sustainable future both locally and globally. These are the campaign demands:
  1. Declare the climate crisis an emergency that requires a response
  2. Implement sustainable changes on campus to address the climate crisis
  3. Divest all endowments & pensions from fossil fuel industries by 2025
  4. Re-invest at least 2.5% of endowments into equitable climate solutions 
  5. Commit to carbon neutrality by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2040
Institutional Climate Action officially submitted a divestment proposal to the UW Board of Regents  on 2/9 which included a resolution for divestment from ASUW and GPSS and they’re now organizing in support of a Faculty Senate C Class Resolution. You can show your support by signing the petition here: tinyurl.com/ICAPetition. If you’d like to get involved in this effort, please email institutionalclimateaction@gmail.com or climatejustice@uaw4121.org

Workshop: Sexual Harassment Prevention & Structural Analysis

Please join fellow 4121 members for the upcoming EPIC Action 2.0 workshop on Monday February 22nd at 9 AM. This workshop analyzes power in our departments and the university to how we can address the structural causes of sexual harassment. We discuss decision makers, strategies, and action plans to address specific issues that cause inequitable environments in our departments. All levels of organizing ability welcome! Click here to register.

Tax Amazon Car Caravan and Bike Brigade Saturday 5:30PM

Join us at a socially-distanced car caravan and bike brigade to defend our movement’s Amazon Tax victory from threats to roll it back, and in solidarity with Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, AL fighting for their right to organize a union! Speakers at the event will include: Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a Bessemer union organizer, and Jordan Flowers, who is a former Amazon warehouse worker and co-founder of The Congress of Essential Workers. RSVP and read more here.

In Solidarity, 

Douglas Avella-Castro
Leandro Casiraghi
Amanda Clouser
Max Friedfeld
Kaelie Giffel
Vern Harner
Dan Hart
Colleen Hoffman
Amzi Jeffs
Levin Kim
Kyle Kubler
Kristin McCowan
Erin Morgan
Emily Myers
Anzela Niraula
Jacob O’Connor
Elena Pandres
Nayon Park
Marissa Parker
David Parsons
Shua Sanchez
Paige Sechrest
Solmaz Shakerifard
Sam Sumpter
Samantha Thompson
Judy Twedt
Momona Yamagami