Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for April 12, 2012

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

New Proposals

UAW began by presenting four provisions, including amendments to Articles 5, 12, and 16 of the existing contract:

Article 5 – Childcare
UAW proposed that UW maintain ASE eligibility for the “Emergency Back-Up” childcare program and pay all associated fees, and requested a $150 increase in quarterly childcare compensation paid to ASEs.
Article 12 – Insurance programs
UAW proposed an expansive overhaul of the existing Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP), including free coverage for ASE dependents and expanded criteria for who constitutes a dependent, unlimited maximum benefits for ASEs, and a $1,500 annual out-of-pocket cap for ASEs choosing non-network services, for which there is currently no maximum.
UAW also proposed hiring consultants to help form a new “Health Care Task Force” to research and solicit other insurance carrier options.
Article 16 – Leaves of Absence
UAW proposed increasing the ASE paid leave allowance from seven (four-hour) days to 12 (20-hour) weeks.
UAW also put forth a provision entitled “Academic Excellence,” whereby UW would guarantee that funding for ASEs remain at or above the 2011/2012 level.

UW Response

UW reiterated that its ability to make changes involving health benefits is linked to the pending outcome of federal healthcare reform, and the continued uncertainty at the national level makes an immediate restructuring challenging. Nonetheless, UW committed to reviewing the insurance-related proposals with the UW Benefits, and agreed to study the other provisions as well.

Further Dialogue

UAW requested clarity on the UW’s budgetary structure and resource allocation, specifically pertaining to funding for childcare.

UW explained that individual departments allocate resources provided by a central budget. Funding for certain ASE programs, including the ASE childcare program and the $50,000 ASE fee abatement program, comes directly from this central budget.

The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 18.