UW News

May 14, 2018

UW statement regarding ongoing negotiations with academic student employees – May 14, 2018

UW News

We are again disappointed that we have not reached an agreement on a new contract with our academic student employees, represented by UAW Local 4121, despite two good-faith bargaining sessions since the previous contract ended April 30. It is our understanding that ASEs will undertake a one-day walkout on May 15. University operations will continue as normal and students, faculty and staff are expected to meet their regular obligations.

“We recognize and value the contributions academic student employees make to the work and success of the UW’s research and instruction,” said Mindy Kornberg, UW’s vice president for human resources. “We have listened to their concerns and sought to address them in our proposals at the bargaining table, while maintaining equity with other employees and ensuring fairness with respect to our other students. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith and hope to reach an agreement soon.”

ASEs have called on the University of Washington to address trans-affirming medical procedures, mental health coverage, sexual harassment prevention training and wages – and the latest proposal the UW offered Monday addresses each outstanding issue.

The UW has offered to expand ASEs’ health insurance – for which the ASEs pay nothing – to include additional trans-affirming procedures beyond those already covered by the current plan.

The UW has offered to address mental health care coverage by offering to waive the $75 quarterly deductible – in addition to the existing coverage provided by Hall Health and unlimited visits to 1,500 in-network providers.

The UW has previously already agreed to fund two new ASE positions to develop and conduct sexual harassment prevention training, and has agreed to conduct an annual survey on equity to be used as the basis for a review of strategies and further steps toward promoting equity and inclusion.

Also, after five years in which ASEs’ wages increased by a compounded 50 percent to reach the shared goal of parity with peer universities and the University of California system, the UW has offered 2 percent wage increases in each of the next three years – in line with other faculty and staff. The median wage for ASEs is $32 per hour for a 20-hour position, in addition to free tuition.

On Tuesday, the state-appointed mediator will provide potential dates for the next bargaining session.

More information on the formal proposals can be found on the UW Labor Relations website.