Week 2 of our strike is off to a strong start! After a weekend of energizing (and some may say, unforeseen) circumstances, today’s pickets & “Tim Dellit, Settle It” rally were full of spirit, solidarity, and song.

At the Postdoc bargaining table today, Management passed proposals that were so truly preposterous that the most reasonable interpretation of them is as an indication that they’re starting to feel the pressure we’ve been building through mass participation in picket lines and disruptions to UW’s propensity for maintaining “business as usual” (culminating in Secretary Cardona respecting our picket lines).

Action items:

A sqaure with overlaid photo of a crowd holding up an intersection. Over it is the UAW 4121 logo, with the text "MASS ACTION ALERT" TUESDAY, JUNE 13TH. 12PM - 15TH & STEVENS WAY PICKET LINE
  • Sign up now for picket shifts. If you are unable to picket in person for any reason, you may choose a remote picket shift. In order to further the visibility of our strike, in-person is preferred whenever possible but there are critical support tasks you can still help with from elsewhere. Core picket times are 6:30am-6:30pm, except 45th and Memorial has a single midday shift, and Montlake has an early shift from 5-9am explicitly for the purpose of requesting drivers turn their trucks around.

Monday’s Mass Action: “Tim Dellit, Settle It!”

Today, we gathered outside of the Health Sciences Building (HSB) to rally everyone for today’s mass action: delivering our message of Fair Contracts Now to the School of Medicine. We marched down Pacific and into HSB, where we sang “Solidarity Forever (Researchers and Postdocs version)” through the halls. We asked to meet with Tim Dellit, CEO of UW’s School of Medicine, and we were told he was currently meeting with the bargaining team, though neither of our bargaining teams has ever encountered him in a bargaining session. The action concluded with speeches. As we returned to our picket lines, we chanted: TIM DELLIT, SETTLE IT!

Crowd of people standing outside of HSB

Bargaining Updates:

Today UW extended the offer from June 6 and presented another offer that was completely regressive. Postdocs are preparing yet another Unfair Labor Practice Charge about this reactive bad faith bargaining.

Specifically, this morning, UW Admin gave Postdocs an utterly outrageous “what if” proposal as a choice along with their proposal from last week. In it, they removed all previously agreed-upon articles (as in, *everything* postdocs and UW have negotiated in bargaining since October); reduced the duration of the agreement to one year; and offered no pay increases to postdocs of any job title beyond the current levels. This proposal also lets several benefits that we currently have expire: the EPIC program, the UPASS for paid-direct postdocs, and our employer-subsidized health insurance premiums beyond the end of this year.

Disregarding this indignation of a proposal, our bargaining team passed a well-reasoned counter-proposal in line with our consistent goal of reaching agreement on an equitable contract. In contrast, UW walked away from the bargaining table at 3:30pm.

The message was extremely clear: UW Admin is reacting to our strong pickets and direct actions — including Secretary Cardona respecting our picket lines by canceling his commencement speech – by essentially throwing a tantrum. UW is no longer even keeping up pretenses of being interested in good faith negotiations and reaching an agreement on equitable contracts, and instead digging their heels in as a bully. If we want to make progress at the bargaining table, it will only come through escalating the pressure and creating the conditions to maximize the impacts of our disruption: through work stoppage at scale, direct actions, and more.

Research Scientists & Engineers A-4
RSEs will be back at the bargaining table on Tuesday, June 13.

Monday’s Mass Meeting:

We held a Mass Meeting for all RSE A-4 and Postdocs on Monday evening over Zoom. We discussed bargaining updates, logistics, stories from the picket lines, and plans for Tuesday’s rally. We also welcomed guests from UAW 5810, the Union of Postdocs & Academic Researchers at the University of California who went on strike last year (check out their solidarity statement here) and ultimately won groundbreaking contracts. The Zoom chat was lively, and plans are in the works to distill common points into an FAQ.

A message to share with UW colleagues who want to support our fight for fair contracts
We’ve been getting questions about how non-Research Scientist/Postdoc UW employees can support. Here is a list to share with these colleagues:

  • UW can’t control how you spend your free/vacation time; sign up for a picket shift before work in solidarity, join for a midday action on your lunch break, or take a half day of PTO and join for a picket shift.
  • Continue dropping off snacks/drinks at a picket location for striking colleagues.
  • We see donations to the hardship fund coming from our faculty and staff colleagues. Please keep it up and ask others who are not striking to do this same.
  • Sign on to the letter in solidarity with striking international colleagues.