Recently we filed a grievance upon learning that the University has been discouraging ASEs in various ways from filing workers compensation claims. In the course of our investigation we’ve learned that:
- ASEs have been told that they are not considered eligible “employees” for the purposes of claiming Workers Compensation, despite language in our contract to the contrary
- ASEs’ expenses for work-related medical treatment have been administratively routed to medical insurance coverage rather than workers compensation coverage (a practice that has had untold impact on the cost of the GAIP health insurance plan)
- The University’s Risk Management website posts an administrative policy stating that TAs and RAs are not considered employees for the purposes of Workers Compensation, despite language in our contract to the contrary. To date the Risk Management office has not removed or corrected this mis-statement.
We’ve requested information from UW about past work-related incidents to try and get a better sense of the scope of the problem. So far we have not learned of a single case in which an ASE has received consistently clear advice about how to file a Workers Compensation claim.
Academic Student Employees have the same rights as other employees to apply for workers compensation and, if approved, receive coverage from the state (rather than your personal medical insurance coverage) to help pay for medical care or any “lost” wages.
Keep in mind that any injury should be reported, and that you have a right to be represented by a union representative at any time. Please fill out the form below as soon as possible if you experience a work-related injury or illness so we can be sure you’re receiving proper advice about your rights.
We are conducting further investigation to try and learn who may have been affected by the University’s unfair and ill-conceived policy and practice over the years. Other avenues of enforcement may be necessary to remedy this egregious violation.