During our meeting on Wednesday, March 25th, our bargaining committee continued to negotiate the non-economic aspects of our bargaining agenda with the University. We presented the University with a counterproposal related to childcare, and again insisted that the University meet the demands and needs of all members for whom this is an immediate concern. We also discussed several other aspects of our agenda with the University; however, the University continues to show little interest in promoting inclusivity, equity, and excellence at UW, and we have seen little meaningful progress in our negotiations. More specifically, the University’s unwillingness to seriously negotiate was evident in three areas:
- The University passed a weak and half-hearted series of counterproposals on several issues, including workload, training, nondiscrimination, our grievance procedure, and discipline and dismissal policies. Unfortunately, these counterproposals continue the deeply disappointing pattern of previous sessions, and none represented a real step forward in our negotiations.
- In a similar vein, the University continued to equivocate and express significant reluctance to engage in any kind of meaningful, proactive discussion around our issues of institutional oppression, including our proposal on microaggressions, despite expressing only a few sessions ago that they wanted to continue these discussions. The University also continued to express resistance to our proposals on lactation stations.
- Finally, the University unilaterally canceled bargaining for the following day, Thursday, March 26. This is the second time that the University has avoided meeting with us.
This prolonged lack of serious engagement from the University is disappointing. It has also made it increasingly clear that the University will be unwilling to resolve issues related to microaggressions and the lack of lactation stations without additional pressure from beyond the bargaining table. New actions, building on our last action at the Dean’s office, will be necessary to demonstrate to the University that they cannot continue to ignore discriminatory practices in our workplaces. We welcome any and all suggestions and recommendations as to the nature of these actions. Currently, we are considering “Micro-disruptions Against Micro-aggressions” in the form of emails, faxes, telephone calls to strategic members of the University’s administration that demonstrate in a real, tangible way how disruptive discrimination is to an individual’s life, work, and academic study. (Have an idea to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The following aspects of our bargaining agenda are still outstanding: Appointment Notification, Childcare, Grievance, Intellectual Property, Insurance/GAIP, Job Titles, Leaves of Absence, Workspace Materials, Training, Workload, Academic Excellence, Bathroom Equity, Debt Management, Faith or Conscience, International Student Fee, Voting, and others. Because of this, a section of the bargaining committee met on Thursday–during the time that we would have been bargaining with the University had they not canceled–and we drafted language for counters to the proposals we had been given on Wednesday. Our goal is to wrap up as much of the non-economic demands as soon as possible as we will be moving on to economic demands very soon.
Our next bargaining session will take place Wednesday, April 1, following the Reclaim UW action, at 12pm in Condon 311. All members are encouraged to attend! For a full list of bargaining dates and times please click see the union’s website or the union’s calendar.