Univ. of Washington Postdocs’ union election will proceed

UW administration says it will not appeal PERC decision in Postdocs’ favor


The following is from UW Postdocs United, UAW 4121:

SEATTLE (March 16, 2018) — On Thursday, one day after a delegation of hundreds of University of Washington Postdocs and university allies took over the office of UW President Ana Mari Cauce for several hours, the UW administration agreed to take the necessary steps to schedule a Postdoc union vote.

The decision came after Postdocs made multiple demands to President Cauce to end delays to scheduling the vote. A few days after the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) ruled against an earlier challenge by the UW administration, a delegation of Postdocs delivered a letter, signed by 111 colleagues, urging UW not to appeal and to allow the scheduling of the vote. Cauce communicated to that delegation that she had not read the decision and would not commit to a timeline for doing so. But following Wednesday’s work-in, the UW administration waived its right to appeal and asked PERC to proceed with scheduling the election.

“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our work-in,” said UW Postdoc Carolyn Brotherton. “Not only did the university agree to our demand, but Postdocs came together in an unprecedented action yesterday, generating community and strengthening our movement at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many Postdocs in one room! Now that we’ve won, the sense of excitement for the next step is bigger than ever.”

“This was a major action for Postdocs — the first time we’ve ever done this as far as I know,” said UW Postdoc Max Friedfeld. “It’s energizing but also incredibly frustrating that UW administration has been so intransigent as to prompt this. At the end of the day I am glad President Cauce decided to cooperate with Postdocs and support the democratic process. I look forward to voting for a union and having a say in the issues that affect my research.”

UW Postdoc Carolyn Brotherton delivers the authorization cards to PERC on Oct. 2, 2017.

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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