We had further discussion on two important topic areas in our bargaining agenda:
Improve Health Care
The University brought a draft Request for Proposals to offer health benefits to ASEs in response to our push for them to consider alternatives to the current plan. They reiterated their intent to solicit carriers and plan options in the coming weeks so that the parties could evaluate which could provide the best benefits at the lowest cost to the University and ASEs. We anticipate having further discussion on this next week.
Create Greater Inclusivity, Accessibility, and Openness
We discussed further with the University our proposals on this set of issues.
One focal point was equity in relation to bathroom access and the need for more all-gender bathrooms. We discussed how members had identified the need to improve this basic – but often overlooked – aspect of our working conditions to make the environment more inclusive for all workers regardless of gender identity or expression.
We also reiterated our opposition to the international student fee, which still is charged to some UAW members and discriminately affects many students on campus. We offered to be partners in securing more resources to support the needs of international students, but could not support a fee that singled out a subset of students.
We also discussed the need to combat institutional discrimination and racism, including protecting the rights of vulnerable populations (such as undocumented students) and enacting strategies for all individuals to speak out against micro-aggressions.
Additionally the University gave a presentation about their new payroll system, which will involve updating their old software to enable better integration of their payroll data. They also communicated that through this system they will make the transition from a semi-monthly to bi-weekly payroll timetable. While several aspects of the ASE wage/benefits will not be affected by this, we raised questions about how this could affect wage parity between quarters and health care enrollment dates, among other items.
If you have any input/questions on these or other items, please contact us.