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United Auto Workers Contract Negotiation Updates

United Auto Workers Local 4121 (UAW) represents University of Washington (UW) research assistants, teaching assistants, readers, graders, and tutors, known collectively as academic student employees (ASEs). UAW and UW have entered negotiations for a successor agreement to the 2012-2015 collective bargaining agreement, which expires on April 30, 2015.

Peter Denis
Assistant Vice President, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Rebecca Aanerud
Associate Dean, UW Graduate School
Banks Evans
Assistant Director, Labor Relations
Marilyn Gray
Assistant Director, Fellowships and Awards, Graduate School
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Jennifer Mallahan
HR Specialist, Labor Relations
Kevin Mihata
Associate Dean for Educational Programs, College of Arts and Sciences
Linda Nelson
Director of Finance and Administration, College of Arts and Sciences
Helene Obradovich
Director, UW Graduate School
Lynn Perry
Senior HR Consultant, UW Human Resources

Negotiations Recap for April 8, 2015

This recap details the 16th session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.

UW Proposals

Discipline or Dismissal – UW accepted the union's proposal allowing ASEs who wish to request a conference with their supervisor and the union regarding a corrective action to do so within 14 days of its issuance. In response to UAW's administrative leave concerns, UW proposed language clarifying that administrative leave is not discipline, and in cases where no disciplinary action is taken, the ASE would be notified accordingly and no record of such leave would be placed in their personnel file.

Workload – UW accepted UAW's proposal that changes to assignment structure or to an ASE's supervisory responsibilities be subjects of discussion between the affected ASE and their supervisor. UW maintained its proposed language clarifying the policy basis for hourly ASE appointments and schedules.

UW declined UAW's proposal to enable the Union-Management Committee to create policy statements related to ASE workload, but maintained its proposal to foster discussion of workload issues such as class size.

Workspace and Materials – UW accepted the notion of UAW's proposal to add "needed time with equipment to perform required research" to the list of resources made accessible to ASEs, provided that such research is a requirement of the ASE's appointment.

UAW Proposals

Appointment and Reappointment Notification – UAW maintained its proposed expansion of the ASE job description to include a list of required tasks with corresponding time estimates, and the curricular purpose of the assignment when applicable.

Childcare – UAW maintained its proposal for UW to increase the childcare subsidy for each eligible ASE from $700 per quarter to $1,500 per quarter, and proposed increasing the annual union-wide usage limit from $40,000 to $250,000. UAW reasserted its proposal for any ASE receiving a subsidy through the UW Child Care Assistance program that is less than the amount provided to eligible ASEs through the contract to be automatically paid the difference.

UAW also proposed that to the extent UW has an active contract for sick child care services, qualifying ASEs will be eligible to participate with a one-time registration fee of no more than $5.

Grievance Procedure – UAW supplemented UW's proposal to codify the parties' rights to request grievance mediation, adding language to clarify that mediation would not prevent a grievance from being heard at arbitration.

Arbitration Hearing Pilot – UAW maintained its proposal for standing arbitration hearings to occur four times per year, rather than the UW's proposed three hearings. UAW proposed language allowing for either party to cancel the pilot beginning in June of 2016.

Discipline or Dismissal – UAW conveyed that UW's latest counter-proposal effectively addressed most of the union's concerns, but maintained opposition to UW's proposal to strike language that it deemed redundant.

UW Counter-proposals

Appointment and Reappointment Notification – UW accepted UAW's proposed expansion of the ASE job description to include the curricular purpose of the assignment when applicable, and maintained its proposed language encouraging ASEs and supervisors to discuss the projected time estimates for the specific duties of the assignment.

Grievance Procedure – UW accepted the spirit of UAW's proposed clarifications regarding grievance mediation, with minor language modifications.

Arbitration Hearing Pilot – UW agreed to UAW's proposal for standing arbitration hearings to occur four times per year, and proposed adjusting UAW's language to specify that the pilot would end after June 1, 2016.

Next Steps

The next UW-UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 9.


Negotiations Recap for April 2, 2015

This recap details the 15th session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.

UW Proposals

Appointment and Reappointment Notification – UW proposed language encouraging ASEs and supervisors to discuss the curricular purpose of an assignment and the projected time estimates for the specific duties of the assignment.

Childcare – UW proposed expanding the childcare subsidy for each eligible ASE from $700 per quarter to $900. UW maintained its proposal establishing that to the extent UW has an active contract for sick child care services in lieu of the cancelled Virginia Mason TLC program, qualifying ASEs will be eligible to participate.

Fee and Tuition Waivers – UW proposed that ASEs resume payment of the U-Pass and Student Facilities Renovation (SFR) fees, in keeping with its obligation to bargain over these fees.

In light of a 2012 arbitration decision establishing UW's duty to bargain over these fees, the union and UW had agreed to a finite settlement allowing for the U-Pass and SFR fees to be refunded under certain circumstances. As the parties agreed, this settlement expires after spring quarter 2015.

UAW Proposals

Micro-aggressions – UAW maintained its previously-proposed language on micro-aggressions.

Lactation Support – UAW proposed that UW maintain a webpage listing lactation stations, access instructions, and equipment availability, and that the UW and union meet twice annually to discuss expanding the quantity and accessibility of lactation stations for ASEs.

Discipline or Dismissal – UAW proposed allowing ASEs who wish to request a conference with their supervisor and the union regarding a corrective action to do so within 14 days of its issuance, and maintained its proposal for notice of corrective action to be sent to the union and the affected ASE simultaneously.

UAW maintained its proposal whereby for ASEs placed on administrative leave, an investigation would begin within one day of the ASE being notified and conclude within 10 days.

Training – UAW proposed that the parties maintain current contract language.

Workload – UAW supplemented UW's academic excellence proposal, proposing that changes to assignment structure or to an ASE's supervisory responsibilities be subjects of discussion between the affected ASE and their supervisor.

UAW rejected UW's proposed language clarifying the policy basis for hourly ASE appointments and schedules. UAW expanded upon UW's proposal to foster workload discussions at the Union-Management Committee, proposing to enable the committee to create policy statements related to ASE workload.

Workspace and Materials – UAW maintained its proposal to expand the list of services and resources made accessible to ASEs to include necessary time with equipment to perform required research.

Tentative Agreement

Article 25: Training – The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current contract language.

Next Steps

The next UW-UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 8.


Negotiations Recap for April 1, 2015

This recap details the 14th session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.

UW Proposals

Hourly ASE Wages – UW proposed that all hourly ASEs be paid at least $11 per hour, effective April 1, 2015, and receive an additional 2 percent increase effective July 1, 2015.

UAW Proposals

Fee and Tuition Waivers – UAW proposed that the University waive or remit all campus-wide mandatory fees for all ASEs.

Wages – UAW proposed that all ASEs receive wage rate increases of at least 10 percent per year, and that UW lead in compensation among peer institutions in the Global Challenge States, which includes several University of California campuses, Rutgers, and the University of Massachusetts.

UAW also proposed a $15 minimum hourly rate for all ASEs, as well as student assistants and other hourly workers beyond the union's scope and throughout the entire UW system.

Insurance Programs – UAW proposed that UW provide medical, dental, and vision coverage for all ASEs and dependents at no cost, including no deductible and facility fees, and that coverage begin on the first day of an ASE's employment. UAW proposed full coverage for several additional services, as well as expansions to dental coverage and vision coverage.

UAW also proposed that UW and the union jointly oversee the insurance plan, and that an independent annual audit of the coding of medical claims be conducted at the University's expense.

Insurance Programs Support Services – UAW proposed that the University fund and provide office space for two full-time positions that are hired by and report to the union. These positions would assist ASEs with interpreting their insurance program and filing claim appeals on their behalf.

Next Steps

The next UW-UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 2.