Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for March 4, 2015

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

Discussions: International Student Fee and Fee-based Programs

Sarah Hall, Assistant Vice Provost for the UW Office of Planning and Budgeting, attended bargaining to discuss the International Student Fee and the topic of ASEs in fee-based programs.

International Student Fee

UAW reiterated its view that the International Student Fee is discriminatory and suggested that it is a dangerous precedent, highlighting other universities where similar fees exceed $1,000 per year.

UW explained that the International Student Fee stemmed from concerns about providing adequate services to international students. UW described how the fee came in response to a dramatic increase in international student enrollment, which in turn increased the need for additional and more tailored services. In addition to supporting the increased volume of work involving compliance with visa requirements and federal laws, the fee aimed to support orientation as well as teaching and learning services.

The Board of Regents approved the fee with support from the UW’s student government group, ASUW, although ASUW reversed its position some months later. UW pointed out this model of collecting fees in order to make possible certain services is not uncommon across the institution.

ASEs in Fee-based Programs

UAW raised concerns over a policy change whereby after June 30, 2015, departments employing TAs on state budgets who are matriculated in fee-based degree programs will no longer be subsidized from central funds. UAW voiced that by making the employing department cover the TA’s full course fee payments, fewer ASEs enrolled in fee-based programs will be hired to work in programs relying on state-based tuition.

UW explained that the central funding that long subsidized these programs was a discrete budgetary decision that diverted potential funding from other areas, such as financial aid or facilities maintenance. UW explained that continuing to subsidize relatively few programs at the expense of other areas creates an inequity in itself, not to mention the many other state-based degree programs that received no subsidy.

UW Proposals

Childcare – UW proposed language updates reflecting the closure of the Virginia Mason TLC sick child care service and establishing that to the extent UW has an active contract for sick child care services, qualifying ASEs will be eligible to participate. UW also proposed deleting outdated language.

UAW Proposals

Job Titles and Classifications – UAW proposed increasing the minimum wage for hourly ASEs to $15 per hour, effective July 1, 2015.

UAW also proposed dividing several hourly ASE job classifications into distinct pay tiers, each providing for a 7.5% increase from the previous tier. UAW proposed that these employees advance to at least the next tier each year, and that hourly pay scale rates increase annually by at least the same percentage as GSSA appointments in the same department.

Non-Discrimination and Harassment – UAW proposed adding “gender expression or identity” to the contract’s list of statuses protected from discrimination.

Tentative Agreement

Article 19: Non-Discrimination and Harassment – The parties tentatively agreed to UAW’s proposal to add “gender expression or identity” to the contract’s list of statuses protected from discrimination.

Next Steps

The next UW-UAW bargaining session is scheduled for March 11.