UW English Language Faculty struggling to get fair 1st contract

The following is from AFT Local 6486 President Richard Moore:

SEATTLE (Oct. 22, 2013) — About 80 University of Washington English Language Faculty represented by AFT Local 6486 have taken their fight for a fair contract to the streets. The faculty members held an informational picket in Red Square on the UW’s Seattle campus on Oct. 14 asking for a fair contract and a return to substantive talks.

English Language Faculty at the University of Washington picket for a fair contract in UW’s Red Square on Oct. 14. (Photo by AFT’s Nancy Kennedy)

Having been granted collective bargaining rights by the State Legislature in 2011, the union began negotiating for a first contract in March 2012. However, they have consistently struggled to get the UW to schedule meetings, engage in good-faith bargaining, and take the faculty’s issues seriously. In an effort to achieve settlement the union filed a mediation request with the state Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) this September.

The UW’s response was to refuse mediation and present the faculty with a “Last, Best and Final” offer, which takes away job stability and transparency in hiring, salary determination, and order of assignments. It also continues the practice of paying less for the same work in summer quarter. About 70% of the faculty earn the minimum salary, even after over 15 years of service.

The UW is also holding hostage any raises that have already been awarded to everyone else who works at the university to force the faculty to accept this proposal.

TAKE A STAND! AFT Local 6486 is asking union members and community supporters to like their Facebook page at UWBeFair and sign the petition to UW President Michael Young asking for good-faith bargaining and fairness.

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