RSVP for Monday 1/30 12pm Mass Action Meeting; Admin makes no progress on wages; other bargaining developments

At our last bargaining session, Admin continued to reassert the same wage proposal that creates pay inequity between PD-Scholars, Fellows, and Paid-Directs and would not keep most Postdocs exempt from hours tracking next year. This is despite our comprehensive wage proposal that would maintain pay equity and keep Postdocs overtime exempt during the contract. It’s clear that our proposal to raise wages in 2024 to keep Postdocs overtime exempt (and thus not hours-tracking) would be cheaper, more predictable, and better for research, than UW Admin’s proposal, which would convert nearly all salaried Postdocs into hours-tracking positions. In this paradigm, Postdocs working only a few hours over 40 each week of the year would result in higher overall costs to the University than by ensuring Postdocs remain overtime exempt.

At this point, it’s clear that Admin will not make more progress without the collective action of every Postdoc. To build on our previous actions, we’re hosting a joint mass meeting with UW RSEs who are also facing immense delays at the table on Monday 1/30 at 12pm. Please RSVP to attend. Like we’ve discussed in previous meetings earlier this month and in December, we’ll work together to build strong collective action with our RSE colleagues, including among other things by discussing details around holding a Strike Authorization Vote, which would authorize the bargaining team to call for a strike if certain conditions aren’t met during bargaining and is a powerful action to win a fair contract.

In the last bargaining session, we did reach tentative agreement on Article 5: Childcare, which establishes a caregiver fund of $75,000 to support Postdoc caregivers each year of the contract. We also reached tentative agreement on Article 27 Transportation which continues the UPASS benefit for Postdocs and creates a process for Postdocs to access campus shower facilities to support alternative (bike) commutes.

You can read all the proposals that both parties have made and the tentative agreements at the Postdoc Bargaining Center page, and please reach out with any questions. 

UW Librarians are set to strike on January 25th

UW Librarians will strike January 25th (this Wednesday) if the university doesn’t come to an agreement with them. If they do strike, we strongly encourage you to support them in whichever of the following ways you are able:

  • In-person events:
    • 1/25, noon to 1, there will be a rally in Red Square
    • 1/26, noon to 1, there will be a rally in front of the UW Tower at the intersection of 45th and Brooklyn
  • If you have the means, please consider supporting their strike fund or sharing the link.
  • Talk about their strike with people in your lab and amplify their message among your networks (Libraries Union twitter, instagram
  • Email UW decision makers

Please share how you are planning to support the UW Libraries Union here so we can connect among PDs, RSEs, ASEs, and other union members. 

In solidarity,

UWPU/UAW Bargaining Committee
Luci Baker, Mechanical Engineering
Rebecca Bluett, Biochemistry
Brant Bowers, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Tucker Burgin, Chemical Engineering
Pat Erickson, Institute for Protein Design
Jer Steeger, Philosophy