Today was a powerful bargaining session as around 300 ASEs turned out to demonstrate support and urgency around our proposals concerning anti-discrimination and equity!
Tomorrow (Thursday) marks the day we negotiated with the University during the first bargaining session that we would reach agreement on all “non-economic” issues. In that spirit, at today’s bargaining session, we passed a package of proposals on remaining “non-economic” issues, including Anti-Discrimination and Harassment, Union Rights, Grievance Procedure, and Hourly Wage Scale Transparency. Our Anti-Discrimination proposal builds on our previous proposals as well as additional conversations with members and with the University about the details of joint sexual harassment training. It spells out in more detail the content goals, timeline, and hiring process for two 50% FTE ASEs to do the work of developing and administering what would be a paradigm-shifting model for trainings — one that we strongly believe would actually be effective and would spur cultural change at the departmental and University levels, so long as it receives meaningful investment of resources from University Administration.
During the lunch hour, a number of ASEs and community leaders — including Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, State Representative Nicole Macri, a spokesperson for the Seattle City Light Silence Breakers, and a spokesperson for the King County Labor Council — spoke impactfully about the critical importance of these demands and collective action, and Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda also sent a strong statement of support.
When we reconvened with University Administration, we asked when we could expect their response on our package of proposals. Not only did they indicate that they did not expect to be ready by the April 5th deadline we agreed upon, but they also would not commit to an alternate date that we could expect a response. They further indicated that they didn’t have authority to make final decisions our set of proposals, despite our having made the initial versions of them as far back as mid-February.