We had good turnout from the unions at today’s bargaining session — In addition to a UAW crew of both ASEs and Postdocs, there were also representatives there from SEIU 925, SEIU 1199NW, WFSE 1488, AFT, and WSNA. During the morning session, a number of community partners (Transit Riders Union, Puget Sound Sage, and more!) came and gave statements of support, and we read aloud a statement signed by the majority of state reps whose districts encompass UW and who support our campaign for a free UPASS.
Then UW Administrator Sarah Hall gave a presentation about the UW budget, mostly focused on how state funding relates to the unions whose contracts need legislative approval (e.g., SEIU 925 & 1199, WFSE) given that they’re bargaining their full contracts right now.
From noon to one was the kickoff rally, which was well-attended by 4121 members! In the afternoon after the rally, we passed Admin our coalition transit proposal for a free UPASS for all UW employees. Margaret Shepard (Chief Strategy Officer for President Cauce) gave a response primarily characterizing the state legislature and policy as the problems impeding progress on a universal UPASS.
We ended the session by reiterating to Admin our initial proposal and asking if they had a counter, which they did not. Our next bargaining dates are scheduled for next week, on the 22nd and 24th.