Research scientists and engineers at the University of Washington voted to form a union affiliated with the United Auto Workers, they announced Thursday. The vote was 606 in favor and 104 opposed, according to the union, beyond some 200 uncounted votes that are contested based on eligibility. The new unit includes 1,458 researchers total. The union expects the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission to issue interim certification in the coming weeks.
Key issues for the union are what some members describe as lack of job stability and career development and advancement opportunities, along with pay and recourse against institutional discrimination and harassment. Michelle Ma, university spokesperson, said that the institution “respects the rights of research scientists and engineers to organize and we look forward to bargaining with this unit in good faith.”