Today we had over 400 people turn out to hear Provost Baldasty speak to ASEs about the university’s budget. As one of our members pointed out, budget allocations demonstrate UW’s values and priorities. UAW 4121 demanded to know why ASEs are not being prioritized in the University’s spending.

1) Recap of the Provost Action

Provost Baldasty came prepared to discuss his priorities in terms of UW’s funding allocation, but demonstrated a clear disconnect from the needs of ASEs. The Provost admitted that he had no plan to provide the compensation needed to keep pace with rising costs of living in Seattle and no advice on how we should handle these rising costs.

It was incredibly heartening to see the enormous levels of participation and engagement from union members, who discussed priorities in the budget, shared personal stories of hardships on campus, and supported their fellow ASEs by showing up for them and getting involved in the democratic process of union organizing.

ASEs stressed the fact that our current compensation is inadequate for our membership’s most basic needs, such as food, shelter, and security. Many spoke about the struggles of surviving on a daily basis, including relying on food banks just to eat. ASEs also pointed out that the university has a vested interest in improving the compensation for ASEs due to the academic costs to an institution that has a rent-burdened workforce scrambling to make ends meet.

Moreover, ASEs questioned the shortsightedness of long-term strategies of recruitment that do not account for the exorbitant costs of living in Seattle. If UW wants to be an institution that provides quality instruction and research in an equitable, diverse, and accessible environment, UW needs to invest resources in the people who keep this institution running.

Here is a full video of the event.

2) Last Day to Vote on Strike Authorization!

Today is the last day to vote for a strike authorization.  We need every single person to vote. Can you help remind everyone you know, whether it’s your department, labmates, friends, or colleagues, that today is the last day to vote on strike authorization? Respond to this email and a member of the bargaining committee member will contact you with the names of a few people in your department who still haven’t voted.

Your unique ballot should be in your inbox (or spam folder) with the subject line “UAW4121 2018 SAV – Link to online ballot.” There will be union volunteers on-campus today with paper ballots. If you did not receive an online ballot, please contact a member of bargaining committee ( or the elections committee ( to request one.

For more information about bargaining — including background and where we’re at in the contract campaign, links to proposals, strike authorization info, and more! — check out the Contract Campaign Member Center or email to connect with your steward.

Theresa Aliwarga
Douglas Avella-Castro
Dianne Baumann
Andrea Canini
Anthony Castanza
Monica Cortes Viharo
Meg Drouhard
Kristen Garofali
Katya Kolesova
Dylan Mayer
Mandy McCourt
Kristin McCowan
Elizabeth Mills
David Parsons
Shua Sanchez
Maddie Smith
Sam Sumpter
Arash Tarkhan
Judy Twedt