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Employment Status, Bargaining Unit and Union Obligations

Q:  What is an ASE?

A: For purposes of the labor agreement, an Academic Student Employee is an individual working in one of the defined classifications in Article 14, Job Titles and Classifications.

Q: For how many graded credits must an ASE be enrolled in order to be classified in a UAW contract-covered position?

A: 10 hours for graduate students and 6 hours for undergraduate students

Q: Who is excluded from the bargaining unit?

A: All students who receive financial support but do not have specific work assignments and work products required of them (service expectancy) , “casual” employees, and any ASE who will work less than 110 hours in one or more ASE classifications in a period of 12 calendar months.

For specifics on how to distinguish between time spent working as an ASE (service expectancy) versus time spent on a student's own research towards academic progress, see the "Workload" section.

Q: What should I tell my ASEs with respect to their Union obligations?

A: Upon ratification of the contract, the University and the Union will send joint communication (hard copy and electronic) to ASEs to notify them of their obligation to either join the Union or pay a service fee. The communication will include an application for Union membership as well as a dues authorization card. Faculty and staff in departments can feel free to discuss union issues with ASEs.   (Union Security- Article 28, Section 2)

Q: Are students on training grants included in the bargaining unit ?

A: Trainees will be members of the bargaining unit if there is a "service expectancy" of them. If a student is on a traineeship but not working in support of a sponsored grant or contract and is not performing assigned work under a grant or contract, then the student is not in the bargaining unit.

Q: Are Staff Assistants included in the bargaining unit?

A: Yes. The Staff Assistant job title is included in the bargaining unit, as are several other classifications specified in the contract. Article 14, Job Titles and Classifications, Section1

Q: Are Medical Students and Residents included in the bargaining unit?

A: Generally speaking, no. However, if a medical student or medical resident performs duties of a TA, RA or other bargaining unit classification, and has a service expectancy in return for pay, then the position would be included in the bargaining unit.

Q: Who will help us with contract administration?

A: It will depend on the issue. The Graduate School remains responsible for resolving academic and programmatic questions. The Labor Relations office, is responsible for contract interpretation and for assisting with grievance resolution. Where the contract requires the implementation of new processes, we will communicate information about then as soon as it is available.

Q:  Are only graduate students included in the bargaining unit?

A:  No.  All Readers, Graders and Tutors are included, as well as undergraduate TAs and RAs.  (Job Titles and Classifications- Article 14, Section1)

Q:  How is “service expectancy” defined with respect to research?

A:  If you are not assigning work to the student and he/she is able to choose the work assignment and how many hours is put into the research, then there is no service expectancy.  However, if you require that the student find a faculty advisor and work on that faculty member's research project and the faculty member assigns the student work that benefits the work product on that grant or contract, then you probably have created a service expectancy.  Another indication of whether a service expectancy has been created is whether the student is entered on the PI's effort report for the project. 

An overview of the new UW-UAW contract provisions can be found on the UW Graduate School website.