Union members from across campus have developed initial bargaining demands for upcoming negotiations with the University.  This has been based on input from the bargaining survey, research into other contracts, our grievance history, and more.

At the membership meeting on 11/12/14 members voted unanimously to approve the following list of initial bargaining demands.  Please add your name to support these demands today!


UAW 4121 Initial Bargaining Demands

We, the undersigned members of UAW 4121, put forward the following contract demands not only to improve our working conditions, but also to improve the University of Washington for all students, workers, and community members who attend, work at, and benefit from the University. In doing so, we recognize the deep and robust connections between the equitable treatment of academic student employees and the advancement of the University’s broader mission as center for research, education, and public service.

Improve Compensation and Standards of Living

Support the essential labor of all ASEs through the improvement of overall compensation and living standards to keep pace with the rising cost of living of Seattle, increased tuition and fees, escalating debt, and rising peer compensation through making improvements including, but not limited to:

  • Increase compensation to be a leader among the peer institutions in Global Challenge States, raising wages above the top Global Challenge Institution;
  • Increase wage rates for all hourly ASEs to ensure that they remain above the Seattle minimum wage and keep UW wages competitive (e.g. private tutoring centers or other institutions);
  • Relieve mandatory fees for ASEs through an expanded waiver of tuition and fees; and
  • Resolve crisis of required unpaid internships particularly, but not limited to, in the UW School of Social Work.

Improve Job Classifications

Adequately compensate all ASEs through making improvements including, but not limited to:

  • Redefine job classifications in order to more accurately reflect job duties and ensure more accurate and equitable compensation of ASE work.

Improve Health Care

Concerns about health care distract ASEs from their research, teaching, and coursework. ASEs need a health plan that is transparent, family-friendly, inclusive, socially responsible, and ensures the efficient use of public resources. Achieve these goals through improvements including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Maintain $0 health insurance premiums and improve benefits to better address the health and wellness needs of all ASEs;
  • Ensure that all eligible ASEs get the same level of coverage (regardless of where their work is assigned, their gender identity, etc.);
  • Evaluate all plan options and restructure the plan to drive costs down and maximize efficiency;
  • Integrate the union into health care decision making and plan administration to increase transparency and enable greater advocacy for members;
  • Decrease premiums for dependents and streamline their enrollment process; and
  • Expand eligibility requirements so more student workers can receive subsidized health insurance.

Create Greater Inclusivity, Accessibility, and Openness

To support efforts to make the University more diverse, more accessible, and more open, the Union is committed to effect change in the patterns of disadvantage and discrimination that are still so evident in the academy through making improvements including, but not limited to:

  • Forming a process to address issues of microaggressions campuswide and providing information and training on these issues to all UW Faculty and ASE’s;
  • Providing access to genderless bathrooms, and working towards bathroom equity in access to already existing gendered bathrooms; and
  • Opposing the discriminatory International Student Fee imposed on International students and providing equitable degrees of funding, scholarships and opportunities to all regardless of immigration status.

Improve Family-Friendly Benefits

Parents who are ASEs face considerable challenges. Support parents who are dealing with limited leave, the exorbitant cost of childcare, and the lack of access to childcare on and around campus by making improvements including, but not limited to:

  • Improve maternity/parental/family leave;
  • Improve access to childcare facilities (including onsite childcare facilities);
  • Increase child care subsidies; and
  • Improve access to safe, private, and clean lactation facilities and services.

Improve Academic Quality

Our goal is to enable academic excellence in ASEs’ work assignment, and protect against detrimental changes (to enrollment, assignment volume, diminishing resources, grading practices, etc.) through improvements that include, but are not limited to:

  • importing the language of Letter of Understanding H on Academic Excellence into the main body of the contract;
  • Increase funding for TA positions on an equitable basis, as well as resources for all equipment & materials necessary to maintain Academic Excellence in teaching and research;
  • A University commitment to facilitate transparency and collaboration among ASE researchers;
  • The University ensuring that colleges, schools, and/or departments have transparent policy statements on class size with ASE input; and
  • The University ensuring that colleges, schools, and/or departments have transparent policy statements on the criteria determining the assignment of ASE appointments.

Improve Fairness in Intellectual Property and Commercialization

As UW increases its efforts to commercialize intellectual property, it is important that the vital role that Academic Student Employees play in creating this intellectual property is recognized and that ASEs are provided appropriate opportunities to partake in the process and benefits of commercialization through making improvements including, but not limited to:

  • Increase resources, and representation available for ASEs who are wishing to commercialize or protect their research and/or instructional materials, and
  • Ensure a more fair and transparent process in intellectual property assignment.

Increase UW Responsiveness to Union Grievances and Information Requests

Productive and cooperative collective bargaining depends on timely and just responses to grievances and other issues.  Achieve this goal through improvements including but not limited to:

  • Improve UW response times to all requests for information to within 1 week of receipt of the request, and
  • Expedite resolutions of grievances within the timelines set forth in the collective bargaining agreement or face additional penalties.

Job placement and Debt management services

Goal: to provide assistance to students who would like help searching for jobs after graduation as well as utilize debt management services for incurred debt from student loans.

  • Extend job placement services to alumni
  • Create debt management services and assistance for ASEs, alumni, and other members of the UW community (similar to the one offered to UW employees)

Maintain all existing rights and benefits under the existing collective bargaining agreement.


Please fill out this form to and add your name to the list of members in support.