We had our third bargaining session with the UW administration today. Today’s session began with a presentation from UW consultants on the usage of GAIP over the last year. After that presentation, UW admin presented a package of proposals for a potential one-year contract. These proposals largely fell short of the needs of our members, so after caucusing to discuss their proposals, we presented a counter-proposal for a potential one-year agreement that would meet members’ needs and prevent UW from falling further behind peer institutions in wages and equity. Here is a summary of what was proposed. You can also find the full text of each proposal on our proposals tracking page.
Non Discrimination and Harassment & EPIC
- Admin proposed removing language in our current contract that defines discrimination and sexual harassment, instead referencing Executive Order 31 to make those definitions. They also proposed increasing the paid time for EPIC trainers to include Summer Quarter, but did not propose increasing the number of trainers. They also did not respond to our proposal on the creation of equity teams or an international and immigrant ASE support fund.
- We responded by maintaining the current definitions in our contract, as they have been effective at protecting our members, though agreed to remove references to a defunct university handbook. We maintained our proposals to increase the number of EPIC trainers, as well as the creation of equity teams and an international and immigrant support fund, and expressed that these are important priorities we want to continue discussing.
- Admin maintained their previous proposal on health care, which would not include improvements to any of the areas we have proposed.
- We still believe it is crucial to expand health coverage for ASEs, especially during a pandemic, and are maintaining our previous proposal.
- Admin proposed removing language that stipulated annual increases in 2018, 2019, and 2020, but did not propose any wage increases for this contract or respond to our proposal to make our wages competitive with peer institutions. Their main justification was to say that UW doesn’t have funding for across-the-board increases (i.e., the same percent increase for all ASEs).
- We responded by proposing language that calls for base wages and hourly wages (but not variable wages) to be raised to match the top of our peer institutions. This would target the wage increases to those who have the lowest salaries, and maintains that any variable wages that fell below the increased base rate would be increased to either meet or exceed the base. We emphasized that these increases are critical for ensuring that UW will be able recruit and retain excellent ASEs, especially ASEs who are from underrepresented groups.
- Admin proposed maintaining current contract language for fee waivers.
- We still believe that fees are an inconsistent and burdensome expense for ASEs and maintained our previous proposal to waive all fees for all ASEs.
- Admin proposed increasing the total amount of the ASE Childcare Fund from $60,000/year to $70,000/year, but did not propose increasing the individual amount each ASE receives.
- We responded with a proposal to increase the current quarterly amount of $1250 per ASE to $2100 per child per ASE (equivalent to the amount the UW Childcare Assistance Program provides for each infant), without a cap on the total fund.
- Admin proposed language to continue to extend the UPASS to all eligible bargaining unit employees, which includes hourly ASEs, through Summer Quarter 2022.
- We responded that within the potential framework of a one-year contract, we would be willing to agree to this as it would extend through the full life of the contract.
Appointment and Reappointment
- Admin proposed adding information about the UW Benefits office and Lifewise contact information to the information required to be sent as part of an appointment letter, and shared the proposed language they would include.
- This meets the needs we expressed in our previous proposal, so we said we are wiling to agree to this.
- Admin reiterated their proposal to update the way the union sends updated lists of union members to administration to a web-based electronic reporting system.
- We responded that we are willing to agree to this.
PBFs at IHME
- Admin proposed accepting our language to include the appendix recently bargained for Post-Baccalaureate Fellows at IHME, but did not accept our language guaranteeing the same wage increase for PBFs as for the base rate.
- When PBFs won inclusion in the union November 2020, that included a ~30% wage increase. Given this, we said we are willing to agree to admin’s proposal.
Paid Family & Medical Leave
- Admin proposed language that broadens which statues regarding Washington State’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program applies to our contract, which would ensure that any future changes the legislature makes to the program will apply to our contract.
- These changes meet the needs we expressed with our original proposal, so we said that we are wiling to agree.
Resignation and Abandonment
- Admin continued to propose adding a new article that would create a presumption of resignation if an ASE has been absent from work for 3 consecutive days without reporting their absence to their supervisor.
- We continue to assert that this article would not be helpful or necessary, and as such, we did not include any proposals on it.
MOU Immigration & Work Authorization
- Admin proposed that they will meet with us upon request up to four times per calendar year to discuss issues arising from academic student employment, immigration status, and work authorization, and agreed to our language removing outdated years.
- We said that we are willing to agree to these changes.
Upcoming meetings and actions
- Next bargaining session: Monday 4/5 from 11am-5pm, with a caucus starting at 10:30am. 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, and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. 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! If you can help build turnout in your department, email our Organizing Committee (email@example.com) to get connected with the relevant resources!