Minimum Wage and UW
We were recently contacted by UW to have further discussions about raising the minimum wage in the coming two years, and this Friday (9/18) will meet with UW representatives in coalition with other campus unions to discuss the University’s ideas. The meeting will take place at 1:30 p.m. in RC West Room 271.
We’re excited to be continuing our advocacy for a $15 minimum wage in coalition with other campus unions and student groups. Last year during our contract negotiations we took the unusual step of proposing that all student workers (not just those covered by our collective bargaining agreement) would receive the minimum wage according to the City of Seattle standards. This was a matter of basic fairness, as well as a matter of ensuring that UW is not incentivized to re-classify existing jobs in order to pay less. Student government and campus allies demonstrated strong support for minimum wage, too, through direct actions and resolutions of support; moreover the Student Activities Fee committee budgeted for the minimum wage increase to be fully funded. UW consented to raise the minimum to the $11 standard as of April 1st. Our contract includes language providing for full adoption of the Seattle standards, so will continue our position that UW should do so for all employees and at all campuses.
Stay tuned for further updates and let us know if you have any questions.
K-12 Educators Strike
Yesterday the Seattle Education Association reached Tentative Agreement with the Seattle School District, suspending the strike and setting up a general membership ratification vote this weekend (more details here). Another thank you for the tremendous solidarity shown thus far by UAW Local 4121 members, who walked picket lines at schools throughout the district, attended rallies, brought food, and otherwise provided financial and moral support for the K-12 educators.
The educators strike has been another significant moment in demonstrating how collective bargaining and action can be key tools in combating systemic inequality and elevating standards for the entire community. We posted about this trend last October when we kicked off our contract campaign, and UAW 4121 members should take pride in furthering something that the SEA strike helped make even more visible (see articles by Phuong Le and Jen Graves).
Keep an eye on the SEA website or your neighborhood school’s social media pages for further updates and developments (see our Facebook page for a list).
New Steward Election: November 2 – 4
At our last membership meeting we approved election dates for the new union steward positions (as well as any vacancies for currently held officer positions) created by the bylaws amendment voted on by members in June. Being a union steward is a great way to get involved and help grow membership participation, both by getting input about priorities and by helping address problems when they arise. Check out our website for more information about being a steward. Nominations will be accepted between October 9-19. The Elections Committee will send out more details soon.