Dear UAW Member,
We had our first bargaining session with the UW administration this morning. We presented a variety of important proposals,
including on EPIC and Equity Teams, mentorship, healthcare, childcare, wages, and fees. Management did not put forward any proposals (except for ground rules). After we presented our proposals the management team took a lengthy caucus, and then indicated that they would not respond to any of our proposals today. They further requested an hour of delay in our next bargaining session on Monday.
The proposals that we put forward were based on our bargaining survey, our initial bargaining demands, the research conducted by our workgroups, last week’s bargaining info session, and experiences and conversations in organizing.
Summary of our proposals:
- EPIC and Equity Teams: We have had great success with our EPIC program that we won in 2018, but also recognize that one training is not enough to fully address structural and systemic oppression. As our equity surveys demonstrate, underrepresented ASEs continue to have disproportionately worse experiences finding community and support at UW.
- We proposed expanding the program and establishing Peer Equity Teams who will receive a quarterly stipend to address equity and build community at the departmental level, as well as provide support for ASEs who are BIPOC, trans and queer, disabled, international and immigrant, and caregivers. We also proposed increasing the number of paid EPIC positions to 6 year-round 50% FTE positions, making EPIC mandatory for new ASEs, and creating a fund to help with international & immigrant student costs.
- Mentorship: As our equity surveys from the past 2 years demonstrate, power imbalances between ASEs and their mentors continue to create difficulties and harm, especially for ASEs from underrepresented groups. All ASEs deserve affirming, effective mentorship.
- We proposed establishing the right to an Individual Development Plan, the right to a secondary mentor for ASEs, and UW-offered trainings for supervisors on best mentorship practices.
- Healthcare: Especially during a pandemic, it is crucial that we expand health coverage for ASEs. Services such as mental health and gender affirming care are difficult to access under our current plan, and other services are not yet covered.
- We proposed fully covering all mental health care and gender affirming care, full coverage for dependents, full coverage for reproductive care including infertility treatment, reducing out-of-pocket costs, and expanding GAIP eligibility.
- Childcare: With childcare costs continuing to rise and the burden of childcare falling disproportionately on women and people of color, it is crucial to expand childcare resources for ASEs.
- We proposed increasing the quarterly childcare allowance for ASEs to $3000 per child, and removing the current cap on childcare allowance funds.
- Wages: UW has fallen behind its peer schools in wages, and many ASEs struggle with the rising cost of living in Seattle. The impact of low wages creates significant challenges for recruitment and retention, especially for ASEs who are BIPOC, trans and queer, caregivers, first-generation, or from other underrepresented groups.
- We proposed increasing wages for all ASEs to match the top level among our peer institutions, including an adjustment for the comparably higher cost of living in Seattle.
- Fees: Quarterly fees are an inconsistent and burdensome expense for ASEs, and they further exacerbate inequities at UW.
- We proposed waiving all fees for all ASEs.
- We also proposed to maintain a number of articles at current contract language: Preamble, Articles 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, LOU A. We also proposed removing the following: LOU B, MOU Lump Sum Payment, MOU Paid Family & Medical Leave Premiums.
Upcoming meetings and actions
- Next bargaining session: Monday 3/15, with caucus starting at 9:30am. All members are welcome and encouraged to join bargaining. To learn more about the bargaining process and get involved, please join our union’s bargaining Slack by filling out this form. For a full schedule of upcoming sessions, check out our ASE Bargaining Center.
- Equity Survey turnout: To continue building momentum behind our contract campaign and our demands, especially on issues of equity, please fill out our union’s equity survey! We are asking supportive members to help phone and textbank their colleagues to build equity survey turnout. If you can help build turnout in your department, email our Organizing Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will connect you with the relevant resources!
- Organizing trainings: Our ability to win on any of our demands in bargaining depends on how much power and momentum we can build in the next seven weeks! Our Organizing Committee is hosting two organizing trainings to provide members with the skills needed to organize in their departments and build our contract campaign. RSVP here for our first training, which will cover 1-to-1 organizing on Thursday 3/18 at 5pm. RSVP here for our second training, which will cover building broad power and campaigns on Thursday 3/25 at 5pm.
UAW 4121 ASE Bargaining Committee