Mar 112015
 March 11, 2015

Today we continued to have discussions related to the non-economic portion of our bargaining agenda.  While UW has stated general agreement with our agenda to improve inclusivity, equity and excellence in higher education, we continue to see little meaningful progress.  After abruptly ending last week’s session and cancelling our subsequent scheduled meeting, today we saw a few responses.

  • To our proposal to strengthen protections and remedies for individuals experiencing microaggressions, the University has passed a proposal that states the goal of making progress on this issue and adopts a definition of Microaggressions.
  • To our proposal to provide access to all gender bathrooms, the University passed a proposal committing generally to ensuring access but doing so by commencing semi-annual discussions.
  • Regarding leaves of absence (Article 16) UW rejected our proposal to increase paid leaves so all ASEs get the same benefit as other employees, and said they thought this proposal would be too costly–although they were unable to provide even a rough estimate of what the actual cost would be.  However they did agree that ASEs are entitled under state law to 2 days of unpaid leave for reasons of faith or conscience.
  • UW also proposed some modifications to Article 6 (Discipline or Dismissal), clarifying the reasons for which ASEs may be subject to discipline/dismissal, as well as some of the timelines.
  • Finally UW proposed that we sign an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) about the payroll modernization process.  This MOU removed the reference to a biweekly payroll system, as the UW has abandoned this direction due to their inability to resolve problems with this system for faculty, ASEs, and others whose work assignment tracks the academic calendar.

While this represented more movement from UW than we saw last week, there remain numerous outstanding proposals.

  • UW has not substantively responded to our proposal to send an RFP to possible insurance carriers, so we can get a more complete picture of the alternatives to the current GAIP.
  • UW has also not responded to our comprehensive set of proposals on Academic Excellence, including our push to increase transparency of job descriptions, appointment and re-appointment criteria, and provide better training.
  • UW today did state that they are receiving information from other parts of the University about the international student fee and access to lactation facilities, but did not have meaningful counters to these proposals.

Again UW left early–and rather abruptly–after passing their proposals, saying that they still needed more time to respond to our other proposals .  Our session ended at about 2:30.

Our next bargaining session will take place Thursday, March 12th in Condon 311.  UW plans to make a presentation on microaggressions starting at 2:00 p.m.  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.