UW News

May 1, 2015

UW, academic student employee union reach tentative agreement on new contract

UW News

After months of negotiations, and just hours before the current collective bargaining agreement expired, the University of Washington and UAW 4121, representing nearly 4,500 academic student employees (ASEs) including teaching assistants, research assistants, readers, graders and tutors, reached a tentative agreement Thursday for a new three-year contract. A ratification vote by union members on the contract will take place in the coming weeks.

“We are very pleased that the negotiations concluded successfully and we were able to reach agreement with our academic student employee union on a new contract,” said UW Vice President for Human Resources Mindy Kornberg. “I appreciate all the effort the students and the UAW negotiating team put into this. An enormous amount of work by all parties went into reaching this agreement, which we think is a very good one for our ASEs and will keep the University competitive in this arena.”

Highlights of the proposed contract include:

  • Graduate Student Service Appointment wages will increase on July 1, 2015 by 10.1 percent and thereafter will keep pace with the median of the Global Challenge States colleges and universities for the duration of the contract.
  • Hourly academic student employee wages will increase to a minimum of $12.50 on Jan. 1, 2016, followed by a minimum 2 percent increase on July 1, 2016 (this represents a nearly 20 percent increase compared to the pre-April 1 minimum rate).
  • The Building Fee – and thus the entirety of tuition – for the first time ever will be waived. This fee is currently $152 per quarter (more for some programs) and is projected to steadily increase over the next three years, but the tentative contract waives this fee in its entirety for the life of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Health care benefits are locked in for three years, with $0 premiums, with significant increases in transparency and accountability.
  • Important concerns regarding social justice issues were discussed during bargaining and processes were introduced to provide opportunities for further dialogue.