We still don’t have a fair contract and unless that changes, we will strike starting June 7th. Our 80+ strike captains have been holding Area Meetings around campus and more will be happening on Monday and Tuesday to discuss strike prep. If you haven’t attended a meeting and would like to be connected with a scheduled meeting, email email@example.com.
While we certainly hope we can reach an agreement with UW at our bargaining session this coming Tuesday (please see below for the bargaining update), all Postdocs should operate under the assumption that we will need to strike on June 7th in order to secure a fair contract. Here are the three preparations you should make TODAY:
- Each Postdoc should sign up for picket line shifts
- Make a plan with your lab and PI for managing critical priorities during your absence. Below are templates that can be used in communicating with collaborators:
- Contribute to our strike fund which will support PDs & RSEs financially burdened by striking & share with your networks. Encourage folks to donate $41.21 in solidarity! (Our union is UAW 4121.)
Also, there will be a picket prep party this Saturday from 12pm-finish at the UAW Local 4121 office in Eastlake (2633 Eastlake Ave E). We will be assembling and making picket signs, putting together picket line supplies, and coordinating picket line shifts! Please join!
Today, at our bargaining session, we made a proposal that would create certain exceptions to full-time appointments for Postdocs (e.g. for medical leave or external employment). This proposal would enable those Postdocs to report hours while maintaining that full-time Postdocs be paid the WA state living wage in 2024. Admin flatly refused this proposal and instead maintained their Overtime and Compensation proposals. Instead of paying Postdocs a living wage, these proposals would mean that the vast majority of Postdocs would start tracking hours in just 6 months. Admin’s Overtime proposal included nominal additions that the University would be responsible for informing supervisors and Postdocs that Postdocs must be compensated for overtime hours worked.
Admin’s proposals do not meet Postdoc needs. We know that paying Postdocs the WA living wage is possible because Admin’s most recent wage proposal to RSEs includes an increase to salary minimums for RSE-3s and RSE-4s (the research scientist job profile similar in qualifications and experience to Postdocs) that keep up with the WA living wage standards for 2023, 2024, and 2025. Postdocs need and deserve the WA living wage, both as fair compensation for our contributions to the University and in order to afford to live where we work.
Support from 100+ Faculty (and counting)
UW faculty are calling on UW to pay a living wage! Yesterday, a delegation of UW faculty, Postdocs & RSEs delivered a letter to the Office of the President signed by 100 (and counting) faculty members. Watch Dr. Sharona Gordon’s (Physiology & Biophysics) powerful remarks:
(youtube video) https://youtu.be/xYkKBKKBSME
Additional Resources: Strike FAQ, Mailbag, Bargaining Center
- FAQs: Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for answers to common questions about the upcoming strike. If you have a question that you don’t see answered here, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mailbag: Additional recurring questions & answers will be collected and answered in this ‘mailbag’ document. We will continue to update this document with new and recurring questions.
- Bargaining Center: Proposals, updates, and more are available at this Bargaining Center.
In five days, UW RSEs and Postdocs across UW will come together on the picket lines. Together, we can – and we will – win fair contracts.
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