Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for March 30, 2012

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

Scope of Negotiations

The UAW represents close to 4,300 graduate and undergraduate academic student employees (ASEs) performing a variety of work at the UW as research assistants, teaching assistants, tutors, readers, and graders. This initial session served to establish ground rules for the negotiations to come, and allowed the union to share its leading priorities.

UW noted that while there is significant uncertainty surrounding the state budget and federal healthcare reform, it is eager to continue the work that has been undertaken during the 2010 and 2011 renewals with respect to matters of mutual interest.

UAW Proposal

Consistent with the themes it has presented during prior renewals, the UAW seeks to secure the following broad areas of interest:

Increased wages and an expansion of the ASE tuition and fee waiver.
Expanded health benefits to cover extraordinary healthcare costs, while maintaining adequate coverage for health insurance services. The union also requests that the UW maximize the efficiency of administering its health plan, and that addressing work-related injuries and illnesses remains a priority.
Family Benefits
Increased health coverage for ASE dependents, enhanced family medical leave benefits, and expanded childcare access and subsidies.
Job Quality
Assurance that workplace quality for ASEs will not be affected by changes in staffing or resource allocation.

UW pointed out that any changes to health benefits will inevitably be influenced by the current ambiguity around the future of federal healthcare reform, but agreed to look into each of these provisions and their implications.

The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 12.