Today we agreed to extend our current contract temporarily to Friday, May 13th, 2011, in the interest of giving ourselves more time to attempt to work through the difficult issues that remain unresolved at the bargaining table.

The University continues to cite likely budget cuts from the state legislature, which is still in the midst of its special session, as the main barrier to making movement on our proposals beyond their commitment last week to cover $1.9 million in premium increases to maintain our current health plan.

While we understand the precarious economic climate in which our negotiations are taking place, we intend to keep pursuing creative, mutually agreeable ways that the University can commit to a fair contract that recognizes the critical role ASEs play in maintaining access and quality at UW.  Unfortunately, the University’s team persists in categorically rejecting ideas that we believe would make it easier for them to provide relief to ASEs bearing the burden of continually rising mandatory fees.  They have also refused to make a clear, firm commitment to engage in processes where we work jointly to ensure that we are obtaining the best possible health insurance benefits from the market.

We will be meeting with the University’s team more next week and will provide updates as things develop.  Please let us know if you have further questions.  We always benefit from your feedback about our bargaining agenda as well as action we can take to support our campaign.

In Solidarity,

UAW 4121 Bargaining Committee