While all Academic Student Employees on campus have been covered by the collective bargaining agreement since we were first certified as a union at UW, some working in the Law School were excluded from coverage.
This was discovered in 2009, when a student enrolled in the Law School filed a grievance after her Teaching Assistantship (outside the Law School) was revoked after she’d accepted it. While helping her pursue the grievance the Union learned that there were some positions within the Law School that were performing substantially similar duties as Teaching and Research Assistants but not classified as ASEs or protected by the collective bargaining agreement. On the behalf of the ASEs in the law school, the Union filed a Unit Clarification Petition with the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to ensure that these positions were appropriately classified and received the same rights and protections as other Academic Student Employees on campus.
Based on evidence and testimony by Law students about their duties, PERC found that the appropriate classification for ASEs employed in the Law School is the same bargaining unit as other ASEs on campus (click here to see the PERC decision). The University appealed to the PERC Commission, which upheld the Executive Director’s decision. UW then filed a motion for review with King County Superior Court, and the Superior Court confirmed the PERC ruling. See our update about this in March.
After three rulings in the Union’s favor, UW is now willing to meet about how ASEs hired by the Law School will be included in the collective bargaining agreement. A description of the highlights of the current collective bargaining agreement can be found here. Our first meeting will take place on April 25th, 2013.
If you’re a Law Student employed as an Academic Student Employee, please let us know if you would like to fill out a survey about the existing collective bargaining agreement, or want to be more involved in discussions.