STRIKE TUESDAY 5AM-5PM
On Tuesday, we are striking to demand that the University Administration recognize the critical value of the work we do for the University and compensate us fairly for it. But this strike is broader than a justified fight over our pay; we are striking so that all workers on campus will be treated fairly by the university, and to create an equitable and accessible public institution of research and instruction for all.
Picket shifts are at 5am, 9am and 12pm (check out a map here!). At 12:30 we will have a rally at Red Square. Those signed up for the 12pm-4pm Picket Shift should meet at their adopted picket site to walk over with our picket groups to an hour Rally & Lunch in Red Square, which will begin with speakers at 12:30pm-1:00pm.
The speakers include ASEs from across the university, who will speak to their experiences at UW and their investments in the demands, along with groups standing in solidarity with us, including WA State Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lynne Dodson, Professor of Astronomy Sarah Tuttle, President of WFSE Local 1488 Paula Lukaszek, Chapter President of SEIU 925 Tom Small, and Founder of AFT 6486 Peter Messinger.
There will also be union shirts provided, pizza donated from supporters, and a dope playlist.
BARGAINING STOPS FOR NOW: UW ADMIN LAST PROPOSAL = TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
The administration has refused our financial demands, and their final offer remains:
- A 2% wage increase for each of the next 3 years
- No decreases in student worker fees
- No further increases to childcare subsidies – Only $50,000/year split among all ASEs with dependents .
In fact, UW Admin has maintained their position that they have the right to make changes to fee waivers by re-defining eligibility for waivers in the future (per the non-negotiated Executive Order 28, (refer to section C) which they have the authority to change at any time).
The combination of UW’s wage, fee waiver and childcare proposals do nothing to spell relief for ASEs who spend an unsustainable average 44% of our wages on rent. You can read more about our and the UW’s proposals — including full proposal text, what we’ve reached agreement on, and what is outstanding — on our website here.
Given the relative late end of bargaining (9:30 PM) and the relatively small amount of progress we achieved on what thousands of ASEs have told us in recent weeks and days are core issues of wages and fee remissions, over 100 Union Members at a final strike preparation meeting Monday night decided to go ahead with the Tuesday Strike.
The contract has now expired, and while we expect to resume bargaining with UW in the near future, no specific day or time has been scheduled.
STUDENT WORKER ORGANIZING HAS WON NEW HEALTHCARE BENEFITS!
Thanks to the substantial organizing of hundreds of academic student employees, and the strike authorization vote of over 2500 ASEs, we have pushed the university to make significant improvements to our healthcare plans. On Monday evening at 9:00pm, more than two weeks after the initially agreed-upon expiration date of our last contract, the university administration proposed — in what is now their fourth “last, best, and final offer” — two improvements to the Health Insurance Benefits: waiving the deductible for off-campus mental health services and providing trans-inclusive procedures and services. These victories belong to all of us who have participated in bargaining. However, the administration still haven’t made motion on wages, fees and childcare subsidies.
We deeply appreciate the support and feedback we as a bargaining committee have received from all of you throughout this process–including everyone who’s written in tonight with supportive messages, questions, and concerns–and look forward to spending the day with you tomorrow telling UW Administrators how inadequate and unjust their proposals are! We also look forward to talking with you as the campaign for an equitable ASE contract at UW continues about ways we can improve our strategies to reach a just settlement of the contract dispute.
FINAL PREP FOR TOMORROW’S STRIKE
To be prepared, it’s critical to sign up for a picket shift now! Shifts begin at 5am, 9am and 12pm at the 4 major entrances to campus (check out a map here!). Most departments/hiring units have adopted a picket site: if you’re not sure which one is yours, please contact your steward or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more information about the current contract proposals on the table, strike plans, and more on the website.
Our strike has been sanctioned by the Martin Luther King County Labor Council. Feel free to print out this strike sanction letter and bring it with you on the bus to show bus drivers on your way to campus in the morning!
- Find your picket site on the Seattle campus here;
- Check in with your picket captain at the beginning of your shift;
- Signs and materials will be available at your site;
- Please wear your blue UAW t-shirt (additional ones will be available);
- While we’ll have some water, snacks, and sunscreen at each site, please come prepared.
Thank you again for your support and see you on the picket line in a few hours,
Monica Cortes Viharo