During our meeting on Thursday, March 19, our bargaining committee continued to discuss the non-economic aspects of our bargaining agenda. We began by discussing our “work-in” action that took place in the Dean’s office of the College of Arts and Sciences earlier in the morning, and we stressed the importance of academic student employee instructional labor to the University: Each year, ASEs collectively spend 1.3 million hours doing instructional work. Quite simply, ASEs play a vital role in maintaining academic quality at UW.

In addition to discussions of our instructional labor and its relation to academic quality, we continued to press the University about the GAIP health plan and the RFP (request for proposals–i.e., our solicitation of proposals from other insurers besides Lifewise), especially in light of the recent alarming cybersecurity breach. We strongly urged the University to add language to the RFP that would require proposals to discuss their company’s current security protocols and how they would avoid such breaches in the future.

The Union and the University also signed a tentative agreement on Union Management. While this is a step forward, and adds to the areas of the contract that we have already tentatively agreed upon, it is unfortunately only a small step; we have submitted numerous other proposals to the university that continue to remain unanswered. More specifically, the following aspects of our bargaining agenda are still outstanding:

  • Appointment Notifications
  • Childcare
  • Discipline or Dismissal
  • Tuition/Fees
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Programs
  • Job Titles
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Management Rights
  • No Strikes
  • Training
  • Union Security
  • Wages
  • Workload
  • Workspace Materials
  • Academic Excellence
  • Bathroom Equity
  • International Student Fee
  • Lactation
  • Micro-Aggression
  • Undocumented
  • Voting

Given the lack of meaningful response to our proposals, we pushed for specific dates by which we would hear on the outstanding aspects of our bargaining agenda. In response, the University promised to deliver counterproposals to us next week, and we can expect rather involved, hopefully productive conversations next Wednesday and Thursday. We continue to press them on this and all the other issues so that we can work toward resolution on these demands.

Our next bargaining session will take place on Wednesday, March 25, at noon in Condon 311. All members are encouraged to attend!  For a full list of bargaining dates and times please click see the union’s website or the union’s calendar.