Labor Relations

UW – UAW Postdoc Negotiations Recap through February 26, 2019


This recap details the current status of negotiations for the first collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW Postdocs as of February 26, 2019.

Past Bargaining Dates:


  • June 15 & 22
  • October 12 & 19
  • November 13, 15 & 19
  • December 11, 18 & 20


  • January 4, 9, 17 & 24
  • February 14 & 20 & 26

Future 2019 Bargaining Dates:

  • March 1 & 7
  • In addition to these dates, the parties have met multiple times and reached a settlement agreement defining the bargaining unit.
  • The parties have reached agreement on many non-economic items (see tentative agreements section), and are shifting toward bargaining over economic items.

Outstanding Economic Issues – UAW Proposals

Benefits (Medical and others) – UAW proposed 100% paid coverage for all Postdocs, priority access to UW non-student campus housing and reimbursement of up to $5,000 for relocation expenses.

Childcare – UAW proposed $1,000 per child per month for any childcare provider.

Compensation – UAW has proposed an increase of the Postdoc minimum to $57,932, with annual increases January 1 of 2% or the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index for Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area, whichever is greater.

The Employer has proposed a wage scale tied to the NIYH minimum salary scale as a base.

Retirement Benefits – UAW proposed contribution rates for all Postdocs – 5% under age 35 – over age 35, 7.5%, with the option of contributing 10% when over the age of 50.  Postdocs not eligible for UWRP would receive contributions in a UW VIP account with the UW matching that contribution, and all postdocs shall be eligible for a $100 reimbursement of fees to manage their retirement accounts.

Sexual Harassment and Prevention Training – UAW proposed the UW hire 5 – 20% FTEs per quarter to jointly administer the sexual harassment training with the UW. Training would be similar to the UAW ASE model.

Transportation – Free U-PASS, free access to bicycle parking at each Postdoc work location, $100,000 per year for a Bike Program, $50 per quarter towards bicycle maintenance or bike-share usage and a free helmet.

Visas – UAW proposed all costs related to the initial visa application and visa renewal – including costs for legal spouses and dependents are covered by the UW. Additionally, the UAW proposed the UW cover all “financial loss” if the time for visa/work authorization processing exceeds 90 days.

Tentative Agreements

As of February 26, the parties have signed tentative agreements to close the following provisions:

  • Individual Development Plans and Progress Assessments
  • Corrective Action and Dismissal
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Health and Safety
  • Holidays
  • Joint Union Management Committee
  • Layoff
  • No Strikes, No Lockouts
  • Orientation
  • Personnel Files
  • Preamble
  • Professional Development & Career Counseling
  • Recognition
  • Side Letter – Workday Rosters
  • Subcontracting
  • Subordination of Agreement and Savings Clause
  • Training
  • Travel Pay
  • Union Rights
  • Union Security
  • Voluntary Community Action Program
  • Workspace and Materials

Bargaining Unit Definition

General Provisions

The bargaining unit includes all Postdoctoral Scholars employed by the University of Washington excluding confidential employees; employees covered by Chapter 41.76 RCW; employees privileged as attending physicians within the context of their University responsibilities; employees enrolled in clinical residency and fellowship programs in the health sciences; employees engaged in research related to their clinical training program; individuals employed by non-University entities (e.g., individuals paid directly by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Veterans Administration, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the U.S. Military); and all other employees.

Postdoctoral Scholars are defined as individuals who

  1. Have received a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent); and
    1. The University shall grant exceptions where individuals present documentation satisfactory to the University confirming completion of degree requirements;
    2. If an exception is granted, the individual will be appointed into a Postdoctoral Scholar appointment title on a conditional basis until the degree conferral documentation requirements are fulfilled, which shall not extend beyond twelve months of appointment. Confirmation of completion of degree requirements and the date the degree will be conferred must be sent directly from the institution where the degree is being conferred. Confirming documentation must consist of an official signed letter from the Registrar’s Office, graduate college or other appropriate administrative unit. If a degree is not conferred or the Postdoctoral Scholar does not provide evidence of degree conferral on or after the specified degree conferral date, the University shall notify the Postdoctoral Scholar.  If the University does not thereafter receive evidence of degree conferral, the conditional appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar will terminate.
  2. Are appointed for a temporary and defined period not to exceed five (5) years, including postdoctoral experience(s) at other institutions, as determined by the University. Under extraordinary circumstances (e.g. family leave or personal illness), the University may grant an exception to this limit; and
  3. Are engaged in full-time mentored advanced training to enhance professional skills and research independence; and
  4. Perform primarily research and scholarship under the direction and supervision of University faculty mentors.