Dear UAW member,
Exciting news! On Monday, a majority of UW Research Scientist/Engineers A-4 (RSEs) submitted union authorization cards and a representation petition to the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) in order to be certified to join our union! Researchers also sent a letter to UW President Ana Mari Cauce signed by over 80 RSE A-4 from 54 departments, notifying her and the administration of the petition and requesting recognition.
Researchers have been organizing tirelessly for more than a year to unionize. This weeks’ news is a result of more than 200 Researchers holding thousands of one-to-one conversations with colleagues – all during the pandemic.
RSEs often work alongside Academic Student Employees and Postdocs, but without a union, haven’t had an equal say in their working conditions. As a result, minimum wages for Researchers have not increased the past 3 years, and Researchers can be dismissed at will – without warning or compensation. Further, RSEs have raised significant equity concerns. For instance, a number of RSEs have experienced serious pregnancy discrimination, and there are zero Black RSEs in the three highest pay scales for Researchers.
Now that Researchers have filed their petition and cards, PERC will request a list from UW admin to verify that the submitted cards are valid. UW admin will weigh in as to whether they have any objections or issues with the bargaining unit. Once any issues are resolved, PERC can certify RSEs as a union, and they can begin the process of bargaining their first contract. Once the first contract is ratified, RSEs will officially become a part of UAW 4121 as a third unit.
Monday’s filing is a huge step forward towards unionization – RSEs having a fair say in their working conditions, and a stronger union for all of us. Congratulations, Researchers!
Braeden Van Deynze