The University of Washington Board of Regents on June 7 approved a new three-year contract between the university and the United Auto Workers Local 4121, which covers teaching assistants, research assistants, readers, graders, and tutors – known collectively as academic student employees.
“The university’s Key Leadership Initiative regarding wages demonstrates our commitment to recruiting and retaining the best academic student employees, and we are tremendously pleased to have reached this agreement with the United Auto Workers,” said Mindy Kornberg, vice president for human resources. “Academic student employees are an integral part of the undergraduate experience, and we are glad we can provide stability for them during these challenging economic times.”
The contract’s three main provisions deal with wages, insurance and child care. The specifics are:
• Key Leadership Initiative – Competitive Wages: The university will align academic student employees base salaries with the median base salary of UWs Global Challenge States peer group. Academic student employees will receive annual wage increases, beginning July 1, 2013, through July 1, 2015, as follows:
–Academic student employees in departments that follow the university recommended salary schedule will receive an annual percentage wage increase toward matching the Global Challenge States median by July 1, 2015, or a 4 percent raise, whichever is greater each year.
–Academic student employees in departments that supplement the recommended salary schedule and that are already paid above the Global Challenge States median will receive an annual wage increase of at least 2 percent, or any departmental raise, whichever is greater.
–Academic student employees on an hourly wage scale will receive a 2 percent raise each year.
–In addition, all salaried academic student employees holding an eligible appointment during the 2012-13 academic year will receive a $50 one-time pay supplement.
• Insurance: The university will preserve the current graduate appointee insurance program for the duration of the contract, and will absorb the rising premium costs accounting for up to a 6 percent annual inflation increase.
• Child care: The university has increased its commitment to academic student employee child care expenses by $10,000 for fiscal year 2013, and will increase this by $2,500 each subsequent year for the duration of the contract.
The contract is negotiated under chapter 41.56, of the Revised Code of Washington and is not subject to the states current salary restrictions that are in place until June 30, 2013. The contract will soon be available at http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/laborrel/contracts/uaw/contract/preamble.html.