Jan 142021
 January 14, 2021

Bargaining, like all our work as a union, is a member-driven process. As in past contract campaigns, every significant movement UW Administration has made in bargaining has been a direct result of majority member action. The more Academic Student Employees (ASEs) across campus who participate, the stronger the contract we can win! Especially given the COVID crisis, we can anticipate negotiations to be difficult this year, which means that in order to make progress on member priorities, it’s more important now than ever for all ASEs to get involved. For more information, check out the Bargaining Center and ASE Organizing Committee.

There are a number of ways you can help strengthen your union and build our collective power for the contract campaign:

Build our collective organizing capacity

Email ase-organizing@uaw4121.org to get connected with other organizers in your area and get support on how to deepen communication networks & build power in your department. If you are not yet a member, sign up today! You can also find more information about the ASE Organizing Committee here.

Help build momentum around contract proposals

All members are welcome and encouraged to participate in workgroups. These workgroups researched and helped develop proposals for new contract language in coordination with the ASE Organizing Committee/Bargaining Committee, and are now coordinating escalation plans around key bargaining topics. No prior experience necessary! Just email the addresses below for more information and to get involved.

Participate in bargaining sessions

All members are welcome and encouraged to join and participate in bargaining sessions. For the full schedule, check out this page, and to join bargaining, members should fill out this form to get added to our bargaining Slack. If using Slack would be an issue for you, or if you have any technical difficulties, please contact ase-bargaining-team@uaw4121.org and we will troubleshoot to make sure all interested members are able to participate.


Previous Bargaining Actions

Bargaining Survey

Our Academic Student Employee Bargaining Survey reached overall majority participation in December with 51.5% of all ASEs participating. In just three weeks, more than 80 organizers from 50 departments directly contacted colleagues in over 161 hours of phone/text banking to turn out more than 2700 fellow members to share their priorities.

Bargaining Demands Strategy Meeting, 1/9/21

In preparation for ratification of the initial bargaining demands, members joined a strategy meeting on January 9. Members discussed the results of the bargaining survey and a draft of the initial bargaining demands, and also discussed and finalized organizing plans for generating strong membership participation on the demands.

Initial Bargaining Demands

The initial bargaining demands were developed based on the results of the bargaining survey, discussions at membership meetings, the 1/9/21 strategy meeting, two equity surveys, evaluation data from the EPIC program, and grievances over the past three years. Over three weeks in January, more than 2700 UAW 4121 members, representing 54% of all UW Academic Student Employees, signed on to ratify the initial demands. Organizers from departments across UW contacted colleagues to make thousands of individual member-to-member connections through more than 150 hours of phone and text banking.

February Membership Meeting

At the 2/11/21 membership meeting, over 60 union members discussed and voted unanimously in favor of a framework for wage proposals to bring to the bargaining table when ASE contract negotiations begin. Members agreed that significantly higher wages are needed to make UW competitive with peer schools, meet the needs of current members, and address equity on campus, especially recruitment and retention of underrepresented ASEs. 

Bargaining Info & Strategy Session, 3/5/21

Over 100 members joined a bargaining info session on March 5 to discuss bargaining proposals developed by workgroups — on topics including wages, fees, health insurance, campus climate, the EPIC program, childcare, and more. At the meeting, members also discussed the contract campaign trajectory and how every member can get involved to help build power for a winning campaign.