UW’s Tactics Targeting International Scholars

UW provided guidance to several departments today that included a blatant mischaracterization of facts regarding international scholars & striking:

“We have also been informed by OAP/ISO that we are required to notify the Department of Labor in the event of a strike by visa holders. Please look for additional information from OAP/ISO on this requirement soon.”

By characterizing the RSE and Postdoc strikes as a “strike by visa holders,” the UW is willfully deploying a clear misrepresentation of the law designed to intimidate international scholars by singling out individual participation in strike activities.

In reality, the reporting requirements that UW Admin is referencing under 20 CFR § 655.733(a)(1) clearly states that UW is only required to report that a strike is occurring amongst workers in the same classification(s) as H-1B visa holders, NOT of a strike “by” visa holders, or any kind of reporting of individual visa holders participating in a strike.

It is reprehensible that UW Admin is targeting international scholars and making our community feel unnecessarily threatened and vulnerable through this false messaging, rather than coming to an agreement around equitable contracts. Our Local’s Joint Council (elected leadership body) has reached out to the Office of Academic Personnel (OAP) directly with this statement, and we strongly encourage all members to sign on to a public letter of support and solidarity with international students and scholars & share with your networks.

To get involved in organizing and to connect with a community of international scholars and students, reach out to the International Solidarity Working Group at intl-workgroup@uaw4121.org.

Unilateral Work Rule Change on Attestations

As many of you have seen, UW Labor Relations sent out an email that directs UW managers and supervisors to implement a new work rule whereby managers and supervisors must direct their UAW reports by email to confirm whether the direct report is working as scheduled. Under the new policy, if the direct report does not respond by 5:00 p.m. on the date of the email “will result in the entry of unauthorized unpaid time off in Workday.” Specifically, the UW Labor Relations communication provides the following suggested text for managers and supervisors to use in announcing the new policy:

“You are required to respond to this email by 5 p.m., confirming that you have been working as scheduled today. Failure to respond or acknowledge this request will result in the entry of unauthorized unpaid time off in Workday.” 

Because we unionized, it is *not* allowable for management to change our working conditions without bargaining this. Therefore all three UAW 4121 units (Research Scientists/Engineers, Postdocs, Academic Student Employees) have demanded to bargain this change. We believe this is a mandatory subject of bargaining and that until UW has exhausted its bargaining obligation it may *not* implement this rule. If you find that it is still being enforced please get in touch right away by reaching out to uaw4121@uaw4121.org.