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It’s official: Univ. of Washington Postdocs vote to join UAW

The following was distributed today by UAW Local 4121:

SEATTLE (May 11, 2018) — After a two-week vote, University of Washington Postdoctoral Researchers formalized their decision to form a union with a majority of all (1,110) UW Postdocs voting yes, and 89% of Postdocs who voted unchallenged choosing to be represented by UW Postdocs United / UAW 4121 for the purposes of collective bargaining. The 1,110 Postdocs at UW will join UAW Local 4121, which already represents 4,500 Academics Student Employees at UW.

The results of the election were certified by the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC).

“Over 700 Postdocs working across disciplines voted in our union election, a huge success!” said Carolyn Brotherton, Postdoc in Microbiology. “Given the threats to democracy we’re seeing in our country right now, our successful vote – the result of hundreds of face-to-face conversations – shows me our workplace democracy can thrive when we tend to it. We’re ready to come together as a union and negotiate a first contract that tackles the challenges we face, like making sure our research community is diverse and inclusive through effective anti-harassment and discrimination policies and a fair wage for all Postdocs.”

The decisive affirmative vote is the culmination of successful organizing campaign that began in February of last year. Over 700 Postdocs have participated in a bargaining survey to indicate which issues they want addressed in bargaining. Postdocs responding to the survey overwhelmingly indicated that increased job security, better pay to keep up with the high cost of living in Seattle, and more protections for international Postdocs are among their top issues of concern and importance.

“We look forward to a productive dialogue with the Administration, and the opportunity to find common ground as we negotiate our contract. We are confident that together with the Administration we can create better working conditions for Postdocs that will further the University’s top-notch research and foster a more equal and just community,” said Daniel McCloy, Postdoc at UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences.

Next, Postdoctoral Researchers will elect a bargaining committee made up of their peers and draft and ratify initial bargaining demands in preparation for commencing bargaining with the University Administration on their first Postdoc contract.

For more information, visit the UW Postdocs United website.

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