Postdocs urge UW’s Cauce: Respect our right to union vote

The following is from UW Postdocs United, UAW 4121:

SEATTLE (March 15, 2018) — Hundreds of Postdocs, Academic Student Employees and community supporters marched to the office of University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce on Wednesday, where they held a “work-in” to demand that the university respect Postdocs’ right to vote in their union representation election.

While the Postdocs occupied the space, the UW Administration considered, but did not yet commit, to joining UW Postdocs in asking the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to set dates for their vote. However, President Cauce communicated she will decide today (Thursday) and UW Postdocs vowed to return in delegation to hold the university accountable to that commitment.

“There are over 1,000 Postdocs at the University of Washington, and we do the advanced work that fulfills the university’s research mission,” said UW Postdoc Alex White who attended the work-in. “Yet again yesterday, the university showed its unwillingness to support the democratic process, and in doing so has made it clear they do not respect our legal right to have an equal say in our workplace. However, thanks to the efforts of the hundreds of Postdocs who participated in yesterday’s action, President Cauce has committed to making a decision today. We’re coming back to make sure that decision is the right one.”

On March 1, PERC reaffirmed the rights of all Postdocs to be part of the bargaining unit, rejecting the administration’s objections about some job titles. Nonetheless, the UW administration has thus far refused to schedule a Postdoc vote.

“It is outrageous that it takes 200 people showing up in the President’s office to get a decision on a union election,” said Postdoc Michelle Tigchelaar. “Yet while the university administration has been stalling and delaying our vote, each day we are growing stronger and more ready to form our union and have an equal place at the bargaining table.”

A majority of the 1,100 Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of Washington demonstrated their desire to form a union by filing a representation petition and authorization cards in October 2017.


Learn more at: uwpostdocsunited.org.

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