Last week’s April Monthly Membership Meeting centered around the theme of building collective power through solidarity and membership empowerment. Members approved the Elections Committee’s proposed schedule for Spring quarter vacancy elections, discussed updates from negotiations for Postdocs and Research Scientists, as well as strategies for the ASE contract campaign, and approved solidarity actions for striking workers at Rutgers University and the University of Michigan (joint solidarity statement & $1041.21 donation to each strike). 

Read on for more updates and information! 


UAW 4121 Spring 2023 Vacancy Election

Due to persisting vacancies across the UAW 4121 leadership positions, we will be holding a university-wide vacancy election this quarter. Nominations for many Steward positions and vacant Joint Council positions in UAW 4121 will be opening later this month. Nominations for International Convention Delegate Positions are also being filled during this vacancy election. If you are interested in a leadership position, please keep an eye out for an official announcement, including a full list of vacant positions and a nomination form, coming soon.

As a reminder, all members who are in good standing are automatically nominated for open positions in their department. This means that you do not have to be nominated by someone else–to run for the position, you simply have to accept your automatic nomination.

If you currently hold a position within UAW 4121 and you are planning to resign, you must submit your notice of resignation by 5pm (PT) Sunday, April 23 to if you would like your position to be included in the vacancy election.

Upcoming Local 4121 & Region 6 Events

Monday, 4/24: Fair Contracts NOW Rally 

1:00pm, Mary Gates Hall

Join members from across campus & bargaining units at the Fair Contracts NOW Rally this Monday (4/24), starting at 1pm in Mary Gates Hall. Everyone is welcome – ASEs, Postdocs, Research Scientists, campus & community allies, and more – to show UW Admin that we are united and invested in workers at UW getting fair contracts. 

RSVP here, and respond to this email or reach out to to get involved in cross-unit organizing and outreach about the rally. 

Everyone can also sign and share this letter to department chairs asking them to join in advocating for a rapid conclusion of bargaining, including a fair, living wage and support for an equitable and inclusive set of terms for all research staff.

Thursday, 4/27: Monthly ASE Countdown to Contract Bargaining Strategy Meeting

5:30pm – 7:30pm, Zoom

Our next ASE strategy meeting will be Thursday 4/27 from 5:30-7:30PM. 

At last month’s monthly strategy meeting, members discussed and made organizing plans and goals for spring quarter, starting with holding department meetings & info sessions throughout April to build community and identify shared issues that we want to organize around. At this month’s strategy meeting, members will share back from department and area meetings to brainstorm & strategize ways to address these shared issues through collective organizing, including bargaining, coalition building, department campaigns, and more.

To access the Zoom link and event details, fill out this RSVP form

Questions, interested in learning more, or want to connect with an organizer for resources on hosting a department meeting? Get in touch at

Saturday, 5/6 – Sunday, 5/7: UAW Region 6 Social Justice Conference – “An Injury to One Is an Injury to All” 

5/6 & 5/7, Mary Gates Hall 

The UAW Region 6 conference on issues of social justice, “An Injury to One Is an Injury to All” will take place May 6-7 at UW! The conference is open to all members: register and find more information here, and spread the word to your respective departments! This is a crucial opportunity for all members to shape our collective priorities, values, and agenda around social justice issues that we want to work on in our movement. 

The conference will be a great way to connect with members from across sectors in Region 6, including auto, higher ed (including University of California & California State University), and more. RSVP today, and email with any questions. 

Working Groups & Campaign Updates

Housing Justice Working Group: 

  • Earlier this week, Seattle City Council voted to approve capping late rent fees, after hundreds of members from the Stay Housed Stay Health Coalition (including UAW 4121) voiced a strong need for this policy after the last City Council meeting. With this policy, renters in Seattle cannot be charged more than $10 in fees for being late on rent! Email to continue building tenant power in Seattle, Washington state, and beyond! 

Anti-Discrimination Working Group:

  • The EPIC team has scheduled open multi-department training sessions this quarter! Any student/postdoc can sign up for any date that works for them.

Our 1.0 training focuses on how to identify inequity in an academic/professional context, how to intervene, and how to discern which resources might support you through incidents of discrimination or harassment. Our 2.0 training focuses on collective organizing within and apart from institutions.

Please register at this link. Once we receive about ten registrants per session, we’ll send out zoom information. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to

External Campaign Updates

Thousands of higher ed workers across Washington state gained the right to unionize on Thursday, through collective power built on organizing and legislative advocacy! This brings the Academic Student Employees at Western Washington University one step closer to bargaining their first contract, and expands worker power for student employees across Washington state. Solidarity!  

Member/Working Group Spotlight

Rebecca Bluett is a Postdoc in the Biochemistry department and a Head Steward in the Postdoc unit. In 2022, she was also a Postdoc EPIC trainer – a role she highly recommends Postdocs apply for (there are 2 open spots for Postdocs!). She is on the Postdoc bargaining committee, and will be at the Fair Contracts NOW rally on Monday – happening in Mary Gates Hall at 1pm!

In Becca’s words, UW Postdocs and Research Scientists need a fair contract because: “Research is fundamentally a creative and collaborative endeavor – when many members of the team are undervalued to the point of being rent burdened, that team is not going to perform its best. That kind of stress puts people into survival mode. I want fair contracts for RSEs and Postdocs at UW so that we can focus on our work and help people better and faster.” 

Solidarity & Political Actions

  • Tell Seattle City Council using this email template to electrify Seattle, promptly transitioning our big buildings off fossil fuels. Relatedly, for Earth Day on April 22nd 12PM at Seattle City Hall, 350 Seattle is organizing a rally and march to ensure that Seattle City Council passes the strongest possible policy to transition our big buildings off fossil fuels. This is a family-friendly event with art, speakers, and solidarity. RSVP here and click here to learn more.
  • Celebrate Black Earth Day this Saturday April 22nd 11AM-3PM at YES Farm | 727 Yesler Way, Seattle. This is a great opportunity to learn about environmental justice, share gardening tips, enjoy free drinks and food, and for kids to participate in farming and art activities. More information here
  • International Workers Day May 1st March & Rally For Immigrant & Workers Rights at 11:30AM Federal Building – Seattle, WA (915 2nd Ave). More information here
  • Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and People (MMIWP) Rally and March Saturday May 6 10AM at Westlake Park. More information here.
  • The Rally to Defend the Right to Strike being organized by Workers Strike Back is taking place from 10:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, May 6 in front of the Federal Courthouse (700 Stewart St.). More information here, and reach out to with questions and information on getting involved in organizing around this issue.  
  • Creative Justice is hosting a spring mutual aid drive. The non-profit organization “offers arts instruction and healing engaged spaces for court and systems-impacted youth and young adults with an agreement that their time and creative work can be used in mitigating any active court cases or other systemic burdens they may be facing.”
  • Elijah was a vibrant young man of 23, a business owner, community organizer and advocate who was working tirelessly to create a better and safer community in Seattle. He was also a loving and loyal friend, son, brother and uncle. Please donate if you can to provide support to his family at this GoFundMe

Labor Actions in Higher Ed & Beyond

Across campuses in the United States, higher ed workers of all different job types are organizing and participating in mass collective actions, including work stoppages and strikes. As a part of this bigger movement, building strong solidarity across job titles, campuses, and geographies is crucial to building our collective power to affect meaningful social change in higher ed institutions and beyond. 

At the April membership meeting, members endorsed a joint solidarity statement co-signed by other higher ed labor unions in the UAW, and approved donating $1041.21 each to two ongoing higher ed strikes: the multi-unit strike at Rutgers University, where thousands of graduate student workers, Postdocs, faculty, researchers, clinicians, and more are on strike (which has since been suspended), and the graduate student instructors at the University of Michigan. To get involved in building power and solidarity, reach out to  

In Solidarity,

Justin Applegate
Lucia Baker
Ana Bennett
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
Jer Steeger
Samantha Thompson
Natalie Wellen
Tricia Wu
Yuying Xie