Today we were joined once again by the mediator, and we bargained with the University for almost 15 hours.
University Admin appeared to get the message that members have loudly and vehemently rejected their last, best and final offer from April 30th, and they made some movement today in getting rid of their takeaways on fees that would allow them to raise or add fees and charge us the difference.
We additionally received updates regarding our proposals to improve health care for trans ASEs: Admin communicated that their health care broker had misplaced a decimal when initially costing our proposal, and that improving trans health coverage would not cost $1 million as they had initially stated, but closer to $90,000. Admin also made some movement on equity surveys.
Nevertheless, there is still significant movement needed to reach a fair contract. UW Admin still has not made movement on compensation, and they have not agreed to our proposals to improve trans and mental health care. They also made their position on fees very clear: they’re philosophically opposed to waiving the remaining fees because we are students, and because we benefit from the services they fund. However, we pointed out that these same things are true for fees that are already waived under the current contract.
We are continuing to bargain with the university and are doing everything we can to reach an agreement that answers to our membership’s needs. We are also ramping up for the May 10th Regent’s Meeting, and continue to prepare for the May 15th One-Day Strike in the event that we do not reach agreement by then. Please make it out to the Regent’s Meeting, and if you haven’t already, sign up for a strike shift.
Monica Cortes Viharo