The Arbitrator who found that the University had violated our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by imposing new fees in Fall 2011 has struck down the University’s challenge and sustained his original ruling. While he did not respond to our motion or specify the particulars of a remedy, the Arbitrator retained jurisdiction and ordered the University to negotiate the implementation of the award with us.
This finding strongly rebuffs the University’s attempt to undermine our contract. As members have clearly communicated this quarter, UW’s decision to challenge a binding arbitration decision (a virtually unheard-of move) has amounted to an attack on our very right to collectively bargain. Not only has this cost thousands of ASEs who were entitled to fee waivers, it has already cost thousands of dollars of public resources (according to public records we acquired) to pay private attorneys. Now that this effort has proved unsuccessful, UW needs to answer to ASEs and the community and fully implement the terms of the arbitration decision.
Under the terms of this decision the University and the Union are ordered to negotiate the implementation of the award. Over Winter Break we will provide updates about any discussions we have with UW.
Don’t forget: hold off on paying your fees, if possible, until the due deadline (January 25th) and join with other ASEs at Schmitz Hall on that day to pay your fees and take action. Also several folks have been contacting us about whether they can still fill out invoices to UW for the amount owed in back payment: the answer is YES! If you haven’t completed this step you can do so here.
While this decision is a significant victory, we need to remain mobilized to pressure UW until they do the right thing and fulfill their commitments under our contract. Enjoy Winter Break, and stay in touch if you have any questions or ideas about next steps.