|Today in bargaining the UW administration presented offers with extremely minimal changes compared to previous sessions (see detailed summary below). They continued to propose no wage increase in the first year of the contract, they continued to refuse to move on our important EPIC and Equity Team proposals, and they made only miniscule movement on healthcare. They even suggested we were not bargaining in good faith because we have not moved towards them on proposals that would erode well-functioning existing rights (such as the grievance procedure), that they have not sufficiently explained (such as time off tracking in Workday), or that relate to non-existent problems (such as resignation and abandonment). We have considered and responded to all of these proposals multiple times.
We want a fair contract that we can ratify next week when our current one expires, and we have approached every bargaining session accordingly. In reality, we have made much more movement on our proposals than the UW administration team. Unfortunately UW has made it clear they don’t want to budge, and in making almost no movement towards us today, did not indicate that they are serious about reaching an agreement by next Friday.
Our proposals reflect the priorities thousands of members have expressed over the past three years. They are also supported by the hundreds of community members who have signed on to our Community Solidarity Petition and the endorsements we have received from other unions and student groups, most recently GPSS (https://tinyurl.com/gpss-solidarity). Our power lies not only with community support, but with our ability to organize and act collectively. It’s critical for every member to take action in the next week, and show UW that we won’t settle for anything less than a fair contract that meets our needs!
Summaries of every proposal passed today are below. In addition, you can find full text of every proposal passed on the Proposals Tracking page, and a quick guide on where some of the key proposals stand here. For more info, check out the Bargaining Center or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Childcare (Article 5): We proposed an allowance of $1800 per quarter, and $120,000 total in childcare funding per year.
- Health Insurance (Article 13 and Appendix I): UW proposed increasing coverage for out-of-network mental health benefits from 60% to 65%. We maintained our proposal that mental health services be 100% covered. We withdrew our proposal for coverage for Assisted Reproductive Services because an agreement with management had become untenable. We are committed to continuing to fight on this issue in the future, and plan to join with other campus workers so that all UW employees can have this essential medical care.
- Leaves (Article 17) and Vacation (Article 32): Admin modified their previous proposal to add that vacation time would not automatically expire at the end of an annual appointment. We agreed that leftover Vacation and Leave time off will not be paid out when an ASE leaves UW, but will be maintained for ASEs who move in and out of our bargaining unit due to having different jobs in different quarters. Administration continues to not provide sufficient information about how their proposal for tracking time off in Workday would be implemented, so we continue to not accept that language.
- Non-Discrimination and Harassment (Article 20 and two new articles): We continue to maintain our position that we don’t want our defintions of discrimination and harassment to depend on Executive Order 31, but today agreed to note that EO 31 is the University’s policy. In order to continue negotiating as effectively as possible, we moved our proposals to expand the EPIC program and establish an international and immigrant student support fund into two new articles.
International Solidarity Working Group
With the new Biden administration in the White House, we have a unique and exciting opportunity to encourage the reversal of harmful and discriminatory immigration policies introduced by the Trump administration; to reform existing immigration policies through programs like the US Citizenship Act of 2021; and to encourage changes to existing programs such as abolishing discriminatory single-entry visas for students from certain countries like China and Iran, or allowing spouses of student F1 visa holders to legally work in the US. If you are interested in helping advocate for a better visa and immigration system in the US, please fill out this form. The International Solidarity Working Group will provide you with the tools, training, and group support you’ll need to help advocate for international and undocumented scholar rights! Everyone from any congressional district in any state is welcome–especially if you live outside district 7, where most of our members reside.
UAW 4121 ASE Bargaining Committee