UW News

May 9, 2024

UW files Unfair Labor Practice Complaint following ASE union’s harassment of Dean and staff

UW News

The University of Washington on Tuesday filed an Unfair Labor Practice Complaint with the Washington State Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) against UAW 4121 after more than 100 union members harassed and engaged in intimidation tactics toward the Dean and staff in the College of Arts & Sciences on May 2.

During that incident, academic student employees occupied the dean’s office area. They continuously yelled chants and slogans, preventing staff from working and forcing many to leave the office. They crowded the hallways, blocking access to an exit and explicitly articulating an intention to trap the dean in her office, and crowded outside the Dean’s office door, where they remained all day. They repeatedly pounded on the dean’s door and shouted demands that she make or secure UW concessions in bargaining. At the end of the day, the crowd followed the Dean and staff to the entrance to a parking area, hollering angry chants and attempting to block their progress.

UAW 4121 represents academic student employees at the UW, who are mostly graduate students. They are negotiating a new contract with the UW and have threatened that they may strike on May 14.

The UW values the work of academic student employees, and our hope is that the ASEs will join us in these good-faith negotiations — at the bargaining table — and avoid any negative impacts on UW students and their studies. We have held 17 bargaining sessions, including the most recent with a PERC mediator present, and have reached agreement on 34 of 37 provisions. The UW remains hopeful that the union shares our interest in good-faith negotiations, however its recent actions indicate otherwise.

The UW has formally requested that the Union cease all unlawful tactics of harassment, intimidation, interference and failure to bargain in good faith. The UW has also requested, among other remedies, that the union be required to make the University whole, including compensating it for the additional costs and attorneys’ fees incurred due to the Union’s unlawful activities.

The full Unfair Labor Practice Complaint can be found here.