Seattle, WA – In the wake of revelations that the University of Washington knew for over ten years that Professor Michael Katze had a record of abusive behavior towards workers in his lab, UAW 4121, the union representing graduate students, teaching assistants, reader graders, staff assistants and tutors, calls on the University central administration to stop protecting predators like Katze and do more to guarantee the health and safety of their employees.
“Katze's story is part of a larger trend of University staff abusing, and in many cases sexually abusing, the people who report to them,” said Toni Ferro, a member of UAW 4121 leadership. "That's why we are fighting so hard for policies that protect vulnerable workers at UW. It is crystal clear that central administration is not doing enough."
The complaints in this particular case go back over ten years – and that’s why today we are calling on UW central administration to stop protecting predators and do more to protect the health and safety of their employees. These workers place their trust in their supervisors, and that trust has been violated time after time as central administration turned their back on the assaulted workers.
Yale, Northwestern, the UC Berkeley and UCLA – today's news is just the latest in what is clearly a perpetuation of unsafe environments at universities across America. It’s time to change the culture of silence and permissiveness that allows sexual predators to operate with impunity – and that’s why the role of organized labor in academia is so needed. Without a voice in the workplace, vulnerable students and researchers are victimized while central administration turns the other way.
Add your name today and tell UW central administration that enough is enough -- it's time to stop turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and assault at UW.