Labor Relations

UW – UAW Negotiations Recap for March 9, 2018


This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW, set to expire on April 30, 2018. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

UAW Initial Proposals

Insurance Programs – UAW proposed the following changes to the current Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP):

  • 100% Employer paid premiums for eligible dependents (medical, dental, & vision)
  • Expanded coverage for mental health services to include increased number of covered visits and providers, specifically providers who specialize in treating underrepresented groups
  • Coverage for trans-affirming services as recommended by the most recent World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards
  • Reduced costs for deductibles and copays for dental and vision services
  • Reduced costs for prescriptions, glasses, and contacts
  • Reduced costs for certain pharmacies and providers to tier 1 rates
  • ASEs receiving GAIP coverage as part of their appointment for three consecutive academic quarters would receive full coverage for the following quarter, if not already provided as part of the appointment

Fee and Tuition Waivers – UAW proposed a full tuition waiver to include applicable fees for U-PASS.

Wages – UAW proposed that the parties have further discussions about equitable pay that takes into account the cost of living in Seattle and the valuable work ASEs provide to the University.

UW Initial Proposals

Insurance Programs – UW will present a proposal on GAIP in the coming weeks that will likely include a cost sharing component.

Fee and Tuition Waivers – UW proposed that ASEs begin paying the Building Fee in the 2018/19 academic year.

Wages – UW did not provide a wages proposal with concrete values and instead echoed the Union’s statement that further discussions would be beneficial before exchanging additional wage proposals.

Childcare – UW proposed to strike language no longer applicable to the current University contracts for backup and sick child care.  The Employer agreed to the Union’s proposed language that would give preference to student parents when selecting an ASE representative for the Childcare Advisory Committee.

Job Titles and Classifications – UW proposed to update the occupation codes and elaborate on job duties for all titles listed in the relevant article.  The Employer proposed to eliminate the Predoctoral Lecturer and Predoctoral Researcher titles which are rarely used.


MOU: Job Titles and Classifications – UAW proposed to renew the MOU stating that the parties would meet four times per calendar year in 2019 and 2020 to discuss how the University could implement a step system for salaried ASEs and how to effectively publicize hourly compensation rates.  The Employer countered by proposing to meet upon request to discuss only hourly ASE compensation practices, provided that the Union withdraw their proposed new article that would require the Employer to post hourly ASE pay rates for all departments.

MOU: Immigration Status and Work Authorization – UAW proposed to extend this MOU into the next contract cycle which would require the parties to meet four times per calendar year in 2019 and 2020 to discuss issues arising from academic student employment, immigration status, and work authorization.

Leaves of Absence – UAW maintained the entirety of their proposals on the leaves of absence article.

Union Rosters – UAW proposed to move a portion of the content from the MOU: HR/P to the union security article.   The content includes a list of items to be provided to the Union each pay period.  UW proposed to include this information in the union rights article, but to use the more recent four lists of previously agreed upon data and sent to the Union each pay period.

Grievance Procedure – In response to the Employer’s proposal to eliminate the MOU on regularly scheduled arbitration hearings, UAW proposed to maintain the language and move it into the main contract as the Union considers the scheduled hearings to be an effective mechanism for grievance resolution.  The Union went on to say that the Employer’s proposals on the grievance procedure and discipline articles have been interpreted by UAW as an attempt to erode some of their rights so they in turn proposed to strike the management rights and no strikes, no lockouts articles.

Non-Discrimination and Harassment – UW proposed a variation on the Union’s retaliation language, and incorporated the content from the MOU on Microagressions into the main contract, as originally proposed by the Union.  The parties tentatively agreed to strike language regarding meetings that were held in the last contract cycle regarding lactation stations and all gender bathrooms.  The Union maintained its previous proposals in this article, including provisions about sexual harassment training, the complaint process, joint anti-discrimination training, and equity committees.

UW Benefits Presentation

Representatives from the UW Benefits Office and the consultant firm Parker, Smith, and Feek attended the bargaining session to discuss the administration and utilization of the GAIP plan.  It was reported that claims paid out in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 plan years rose by approximately 9% each year (per student, per month) which was in line with projected values.  The total renewal increase for the next plan year is approximately 8.9-10.5% (the higher end of the range is contingent on the passage of a Senate Bill proposing a state reinsurance fee).

Next Steps

The next UW-UAW bargaining session is scheduled for March 15.  On this date the parties plan to further discuss some of the non-economic proposals on the table.