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Workload

Q: Am I required to track an ASE's hours worked?

A: No, departments are not required to track an ASE's hours worked.

Q: How do I distinguish between a student's time spent working as an ASE versus time spent on his or her own research towards academic progress?

A: Think carefully about work that is assigned versus work accomplished via the student's initiative for academic benefit. To ensure that work receives proper academic recognition the student should enroll for the proper number of thesis credit hours.

We realize that differentiating "work effort" from "academic effort" can be difficult where an advanced student is working as an RA in the same lab where the student's own research is being conducted. Work assigned by a supervisor or other person in charge of the ASE's appointment counts towards the 220 hours worked each quarter.

Q: The contract states that ASEs will "not be required to work for more than 220 hours per quarter." At 20 hours per week, this amounts to 11 weeks of service. We have year-round needs, however, and there are 13 weeks, or six payroll periods, in each calendar year quarter. Can we state the expectation that the ASE work throughout all six pay periods in each quarter? If not, what can we do to avoid a two week hiatus every quarter?

A: ASEs are appointed for 260 hours (6 pay periods). Holidays during that time reduce the work hours by roughly 12 hours, depending on the 3 month period in question. That reduces the number of available hours to 248. Twenty of the hours (5 days) are vacation days, leaving 8 hours of unaccounted time. That unaccounted time is generally intended to be professional development time for the ASE, or may be taken up by leaves due to illness, bereavement, etc. (roughly up to 9 hours per quarter on average). This does not grant the ASE time away from academic requirements, although one would expect him/her to be released from academic requirements during the quarter breaks.

Q:  What happens if an ASE needs to work after the last day of the quarter to complete the quarter's work responsibility.

A:  As long as the ASE has not exceeded working 220 hours that quarter, ASEs are expected to complete their ASE obligations even when it extends beyond the final day of the academic quarter.  (See Article 32, Workload - Section 7)

Q: How many hours per quarter would an ASE with a 10 month appointment work?

A: Departments can prorate the additional month based on 220 hours, arriving at an additional 73.34 hours (220/3=73.34 what one month is worth in terms of hours).

Q: Can an ASE choose to work more hours than the minimum required?

A: Yes. It is the ASE's responsibility to manage his or her workload and inform the supervisor if he or she anticipates working more than 220 hours in a quarter. ASEs have the option to work more hours if they choose. Workload should be considered separately from the amount of effort required to make satisfactory academic progress. ASE workload limits do not restrict the amount of academic effort that may be required to make progress toward the ASE's degree. Workload- Article 32, Section 8

Q: What if an ASE works 250 hours and wants overtime for the additional time over 220 hours worked?

A: An ASE should notify his or her supervisor as soon as he/she anticipates any issues that would result in working more than 220 hours in a quarter. At that point, the department has the option to offer the ASE additional paid hours for the workload in excess of 220 hours, or relieve the ASE of the excess workload. Workload- Article 32, Section 8

Q: Does time spent at a conference count towards time worked for ASEs?

A: Yes, if the ASE's supervisor requires attendance at the conference as part of the ASE's work-related duties. If attendance at the conference is optional, or is for the benefit of the ASE's academic progress, it does not count towards the 220-hour workload.

Q: Why don't pay periods coincide with the academic quarter?

A: Pay periods are determined by the State of Washington, and they don't match the academic calendar. Workload requirements in the contract are independent of pay periods. An ASE's workload, leave and vacation entitlements and obligations are based on the academic quarter and not pay periods. This means that an ASE's work obligations may extend past the last pay period in the quarter.

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