In June 2011, the University of Washington (UW) and the United Auto Workers Local 4121 (UAW) agreed on a renewal of the previous collective bargaining agreement, with some slight amendments. This agreement became effective on June 8, 2011, and expires on April 30, 2012. UAW represents UW research assistants, teaching assistants, readers, graders, and tutors, known collectively as academic student employees (ASEs).
The 2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement has been published to the Labor Relations website. View the 2013-2015 UAW Contract.
The UW and UAW reached a tentative final agreement for a three-year contract on the evening of Friday, May 4, 2012. The agreement provides for the following new provisions to the existing collective bargaining agreement:
Key Leadership Initiative - Competitive Wages: The University will align ASE base salaries with the median base salary of UW's Global Challenge States peer group. ASEs will receive annual wage increases, beginning July 1, 2013, for the duration of the three-year contract as follows:
One-time Pay Supplement: All salaried ASEs holding an eligible appointment during the 2012/2013 academic year will receive a $50 lump sum payment.
UW agreed to preserve the current GAIP plan for the coming year, absorbing the rising premium costs, and will do so each subsequent year for the duration of the contract, accounting for up to a six percent annual inflation increase.
UW agreed to increase its commitment to ASE childcare expenses by $10,000 for fiscal year 2013, and will increase this by $2,500 each subsequent year for the duration of the contract.
UW and UAW will recommend this agreement to their respective constituents for approval and ratification.
This recap details the eighth session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
UAW began by expressing its appreciation for UW's leadership in proposing the Global Challenge States competitive wage initiative.
UAW pointed out that many ASEs on a variable rate wage schedule would not receive additional benefits from UW aligning ASE average wages with those of its Global Challenge States peer institutions, because their pay already exceeds this average.
UW presented a revision of its former proposal to UAW.
UW proposed a revised, more inclusive version of its Key Leadership Initiative to address UAW's concerns.
This revised proposal maintained bringing the average base wage of ASEs at the UW into alignment with that of its peer institutions in the Global Challenge States by 2015, and still provided for annual raises up to that point, whereupon the wages would be fixed to this average.
The revised proposal provided additional benefits for ASEs working on variable rate or hourly wage scales.
UW declined UAW's proposal to use overall compensation as a core metric, and instead upheld its proposal to use base salary.
UW pointed out that its proposed financial commitments to UAW wages and healthcare are a material demonstration of its continued investment in ASEs. UW noted that what is taught and how it is taught is too subjective to be bargained in a contract and on a broad scale.
UW explained that while it is compassionate for this particular issue, it cannot currently provide any expansions to the GAIP plan, including this provision, due to the high cost of simply maintaining GAIP amidst rising premiums.
Today was the expiration date of the existing contract, but UW and UAW agreed to extend negotiations until 6 p.m. on May 1, 2012.
State law provides for the existing contract to remain in effect for up to one year following expiration, while both parties continue work to reach an agreement.
This recap details the seventh session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
To begin, UW Management Accounting and Analysis presented a detailed overview of how payroll load rates are calculated, explaining that they are based on benefit and salary cost estimates for the upcoming year.
At the end of each fiscal year, UW Management Accounting and Analysis compares the estimated costs against the actual costs. The difference, known as a true-up, is then incorporated in subsequent years' rate calculations.
UW Management Accounting and Analysis explained that true-ups are based on actual expenditures versus what the UW collected throughout the load process. The difference is determined at the end of the year, and applied in a future year.
UW Management Accounting and Analysis noted that load rates are established based on employee type, and applied accordingly to each group. The federal Department of Health and Human Services annually reviews and negotiates these rates with the UW.
UW presented its proposal for a new multi-year contract ending on April 30, 2016.
Next, UW replied to UAW's primary proposals.
UW explained that it must reserve the freedom to allocate funds as necessary in order to best serve the University's academic and instructional needs where and when they arise. As such, UW is not interested in binding the University to a predetermined threshold.
UW noted that mandatory fees for ASEs are not uncommon, including among peer institutions. UW explained that the proposed wage increases represent a significant counterbalance to any fees.
UAW committed to reviewing UW's proposal and responses at length, and will provide a reply promptly.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 30, 2012.
This recap details the sixth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
UW Benefits pointed out a dramatic reduction in the projected costs for sexual reassignment procedures in the revised cost estimates.
The claims pattern fluctuation resulted from more efficient and timely claims processing by Lifewise, the insurance company that currently administers GAIP, which typically processes claims within 30 days. The previous plan administrator typically processed claims in 90 days.
Lifewise reports the specific number of dependent children per appointee, whereas the previous plan administrator was unable to report dependents in such detail. This increased number of covered children has not resulted in rate changes.
UW Benefits' research confirmed that the drop in the number of GAIP appointees is likely due to fewer ASEs being hired in the fall of 2011.
UW Benefits pointed out that the cost estimates contain two separate non-additive quotes regarding transgender coverage, one that matched the SHIP coverage and one that provided coverage in full.
UW Benefits replied that the cost estimates are a direct response to the questions UAW had asked in its data request, and that if a third option is requested, it is possible to investigate.
Parker, Smith & Feek explained that past claims experience cannot be used to predict future claims risk, especially in light of the significant changes UAW has proposed. UW offered to follow up with the actuaries that calculated these estimates regarding their methodology.
UW Benefits confirmed that a representative from UW Financial Accounting will come to the next meeting to discuss the details of payroll load rates. UW promised to provide responses to UAW's overall proposal at the next meeting.
UW prefaced the next meeting by establishing that one of its defining priorities, in general and in bargaining, is to ensure that the University emerges from the recession in a way that benefits all of its employees.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 27.
This recap details the fifth session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
The report established that if implemented, UAW's proposal would cost the UW approximately $9.4 million. This total does not account for the roughly $2 million extra that the UW must pay to simply maintain the existing ASE benefits package, as it faces a 16.9 percent increase in premiums.
UW Benefits responded that the calculations were based on information that the insurer had received from the Q Center previously.
UW Benefits pointed out that because the Q Center delivered its presentation on transgender coverage issues before the healthcare bargaining sessions, it has only just received the updated information from the presentation. UW Benefits expressed regret that the presentation date did not align with its presence, but offered to provide the Q Center's latest numbers to the insurer so that new costs can be calculated.
UW Benefits explained that UW Financial Accounting calculates the rates for fringe benefits to be charged to budgets during the upcoming year, which must be approved by the federal government prior to implementation.
UW Benefits offered to arrange for representatives to speak with UAW to address further details, which UAW accepted.
UW Benefits agreed to research these points and provide UAW with an answer at an upcoming bargaining session.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 25.
This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
UW replied that once UW Benefits has performed a cost analysis of UAW's proposals and presented its results to both bargaining teams, it will be prepared to offer an accurate and informed response to UAW's proposals.
UW voiced its confidence that if both sides embrace the collaborative bargaining approach that has benefited past negotiations between UW and UAW, bargaining should conclude in a timely and mutually satisfactory manner.
UW apologized for any requests not yet fulfilled, and promised to continue compiling all requested information and to send it to UAW promptly. UW sought clarification on any responses deemed inadequate.
UW explained that typically any redactions to documents reflect the University's legal obligations to protect the privacy of students and employees through omitting confidential information, particularly with regard to medical information.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 23.
This recap details the third session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
UAW began by presenting amendments to Articles 7 and 32 of the existing contract:
UW recognized that the economic downturn at the state level has impacted employees across the University, and articulated the need to work toward a plan that will benefit and recognize all employees when the economy eventually improves.
UW voiced its appreciation for the Q Center mission and its effective presentation. UW agreed that such provisions are important for ASEs, and that the success with SHIP in promoting transgender equality establishes a sound foundation for trying to align GAIP.
UW Benefits will attend the April 23 and 25 meetings to address all proposed reform to ASE benefits.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 20.
This recap details the second session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
UAW began by presenting four provisions, including amendments to Articles 5, 12, and 16 of the existing contract:
UW reiterated that its ability to make changes involving health benefits is linked to the pending outcome of federal healthcare reform, and the continued uncertainty at the national level makes an immediate restructuring challenging. Nonetheless, UW committed to reviewing the insurance-related proposals with the UW Benefits, and agreed to study the other provisions as well.
UW explained that individual departments allocate resources provided by a central budget. Funding for certain ASE programs, including the ASE childcare program and the $50,000 ASE fee abatement program, comes directly from this central budget.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 18.
This recap details the first session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.
The UAW represents close to 4,300 graduate and undergraduate academic student employees (ASEs) performing a variety of work at the UW as research assistants, teaching assistants, tutors, readers, and graders. This initial session served to establish ground rules for the negotiations to come, and allowed the union to share its leading priorities.
UW noted that while there is significant uncertainty surrounding the state budget and federal healthcare reform, it is eager to continue the work that has been undertaken during the 2010 and 2011 renewals with respect to matters of mutual interest.
Consistent with the themes it has presented during prior renewals, the UAW seeks to secure the following broad areas of interest:
UW pointed out that any changes to health benefits will inevitably be influenced by the current ambiguity around the future of federal healthcare reform, but agreed to look into each of these provisions and their implications.
The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 12.