On July 6th, SEA 500WS and Postdocs United co-hosted the event, Making Science Work for All: Organized labor and removing barriers to diversity. This event focused on how organized labor has proven to be a powerful tool for improving accessibility and inclusivity in science.
We had a great crowd and a fantastic panel of union organizers that included:
- Anke Schennink, President of the University of California Union of Postdocs (UAW 5810), which recently negotiated four weeks of paid parental leave
- Theresa Aliwarga, a member of the Executive Board of the Union of Academic Employees at the UW (UAW 4121), where she fights for protection of international students
- Louisa Edgerly, an organizer with SEIU Local 925 involved in the labor movement of adjunct faculty members at Seattle University
Each speaker shared their personal stories of their experiences organizing and how unions had improved working conditions for university faculty, grad students, and postdocs. After their short presentations, we had a fantastic and insightful Q&A session on the benefits and realities of organizing. In addition, UW Postdocs United shared updates on their ongoing union-drive.
SEA 500WS understands that science is labor. We will continue our efforts to support our local unions representing scientists and researchers in the Pacific Northwest. Through these efforts, we will help build an equitable and inclusive workplace for ourselves and our region's future scientists.