Great news!!!  Academic Student Employees at UW had another victory from a grievance and arbitration decision!  Thanks to the willingness of members to speak up, the great show of solidarity across campus (including participation at the hearing from members in 14 departments), your union was able to prove that ASEs with a Master’s degree from outside their own department must be classified and paid, at a minimum, as a Predoctoral Teaching Associate I!

The Case:   The Philosophy department was paying ASEs with Masters degrees from other academic institutions as Teaching Assistant I, and only acknowledging the bump in classification and pay when the ASEs acquired a Master’s from UW’s Philosophy department.  The University argued that this classification decision was open to their discretion.  We asserted that this practice was a violation of Article 14  of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The arbitrator sided with the Union, stating that the Philosophy department must reclassify its graduate students with a Master’s degree from other institutions to Predoctoral Teaching Associate I, and that they will receive backpay covering the losses in salary beginning 21 days prior to the grievance.

What this means for all ASEs:   Collective action and solidarity is a powerful force!  This arbitration result sets precedents for how our Collective Bargaining Agreement is read.  If you have a Master’s degree from another institution and are not being paid the minimum rate of a Predoctoral Teaching Associate I, please let your steward know!  Congratulations again!


Divestment Forums: Get Involved!

At our March 10th membership meeting, members voted unanimously to support the development of public forums about divestment ideas currently being discussed at UW Seattle, including private prisons; fossil fuels; shady financial institutions like hedge funds and “toxic” debt swaps; and the Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement.  The purpose of these forums is to encourage exploration and discussion of the social justice implications of University investments on and off-campus, and the broader role of students and workers in intervening in the University’s increasingly neoliberal university finance model.  All points of view are welcome and forums will strive to be as inclusive and respectful as possible.

For those interested in being involved, being kept abreast of development, or helping to plan the forums please contact UAW 4121 and Divest UW member Alex Lenferna (

In Solidarity,

UAW 4121