Thursday, April 14th will be a day of action for workers rights and a fair economy, and a delegation of UAW members will attend the UW Board of Regents meeting to demand an end to the University’s reliance on fees.

Fees and student workers

UAW members have fought for years to bring down the costs of tuition/fees. In our last contract campaign we made historic gains that will reduce the cost of unwaived fees for TAs and RAs with waivers, and significantly increase the minimum wage as well as every wage step across the board.

But fee costs are still too high ($1,100+ per year) for students workers with waivers, and growing. For those without 50% positions (and waivers) the burden is staggering.

A Fee-Dependent University

The problem of unwaived fees is not just a student worker problem. It is endemic to the University’s budgeting philosophy, which increasingly has come to rely on fees as a major source of revenue. Operating in our regressive state economy, UW has adapted by choosing to raise student fees. The University doesn’t only use tuition/fees for staffing, capital projects and services, but it also uses fee revenue along with a sophisticated set of financial tools to further the University’s financial interests, including issuing bonds, making investments, purchasing/holding property, and other projects.

This fee-dependence has led to several troubling developments:

  • The true costs of fees are often hidden, and amount to a loss of pay
  • TA positions in state-supported programs are more volatile and can be threatened when enrollment fluctuates
  • UW can pass increased transit costs through to students and workers through the U-PASS
  • International Students without waivers still pay extra fees simply by virtue of their country of origin
  • 35% of graduate students are enrolled in fee-based programs with no state support, and some are being prevented from holding full (50% FTE) TA/RA appointments
  • Implementation of transgender-inclusive projects are delayed
  • University goals to create stronger race/equity programs are delayed
  • And more…

You can help!

  • Attend our next membership meeting, Thursday April 14th at 5:00 in Sieg 134

Wages up! Fees down! Seattle is a union town! Together we can bring about a more equitable University. Let us know your ideas and questions, and be on the lookout for additional communications about this soon!

In Solidarity,

Douglas Avella
Matt Bellinger
Ying-Yu Chen
Kristen Dew
Toni Ferro
Kristen Garofali
Alli Germain
Robin Gold
Phil Harding
Daniel Hart
Bob Hodges
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime
Kristin Lindenmuth
Dylan Mayer
Elizabeth Mills
David Parsons
Michelle Pham
Viral Shah
Sam Sumpter