Today the Union and University reached an agreement on a settlement in our dispute over the remedy to the fees arbitration that reimburses ASEs with 50% appointments for fees charged in violation of the collective bargaining agreement, phases out the SFR Fee between now and 2015, and preserves the strong protections against new fees during the life of our collective bargaining agreement.  This offer is being unanimously recommended for membership approval by the Executive Board.

The components of the agreement [which you can read in its entirety here] are as follows:

  • The decision of the arbitrator, which held that the University violated the collective bargaining agreement when they imposed these new fees without waiving them—for ASEs with 50% appointments, will stand, and UW will not continue to challenge it in the courts.
  • All ASEs with 50% appointments who paid the SFR Fee from Fall 2011 through Winter 2013 will receive a full reimbursement.  This reimbursement will be paid with 12% interest.
  • All ASEs with 50% appointments who paid the UPASS Fee from Fall 2011 through Fall 2012 shall receive a full reimbursement for the U-PASS Fee for each quarter where it was used 5 or fewer times.  Reimbursements will be paid with 12% interest.
  • For the duration of the current collective bargaining agreement (which expires April 30, 2015), ASEs with 50% appointments who do not use the U-PASS will be eligible for a full reimbursement (if the total number of ASEs seeking reimbursement exceeds 15% of eligible ASEs, the reimbursements will be prorated).
  • ASEs with 50% appointments will also receive a 50% remittance (pay-back) of the SFR fee between Spring 2013 and Spring 2014; and a 100% remittance of the SFR fee between Summer 2014 and the expiration of the contract.
  • If members approve the agreement, the University will begin processing reimbursements for fees paid between Fall 2011 and Winter 2013 immediately.  ASEs could expect to receive reimbursement checks later this quarter (Winter 2013).

The University’s move away from its “Last Best and Final Offer” in October 2012 and toward a fair settlement clearly came about as a direct result of the tireless efforts of activists across campus, and the unwavering support and mobilization by ASEs.  Grassroots efforts to take action and spread the word to the campus community made it clear to UW that they needed to honor their commitments or risk further disruptions on campus.  We’re pleased that the University decided it was in their interest to propose a fair settlement rather than provoke further unrest and waste more scarce public resources.

Please come to the membership meeting this Thursday (1/24) at 1:30 in Thomson 134 to discuss this agreement on the remedy and make a decision about about how best to carry out the planned action on January 25th.  We will also discuss details of a membership vote to approve the agreement.

If you cannot make it to the meeting please feel free to contact us with questions.

Thank you again for your support, creativity, and commitment throughout this process.