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WSU ASEs demand fair contract at Chancellor’s Office sit-in

The following is from WSU-CASE:

PULLMAN, Wash. (Dec. 7, 2023) — Academic Student Employees (ASEs) staged a sit-in Monday at the office of Washington State University Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton as their need for reaching a fair contract becomes increasingly urgent. After 10 months of bargaining, ASEs have become increasingly frustrated by the slow pace of bargaining. They asked the Chancellor to intervene and urge the WSU bargaining team to do whatever it takes to reach agreement by Dec. 15.

“We are only asking for WSU Admin’s team to do their jobs so we can come to a fair contract, as we are legally entitled to,” said Gavin Doyle, an ASE in English. “Because they are failing to do so, we asked the Chancellor to intervene. The ASE bargaining team stands ready and willing to bargain as frequently as needed to reach agreement.”

The sticking points in bargaining include fair wages for ASEs, childcare affordability, student fees, and the ability to fairly negotiate decisions about their employment, including health care, at the bargaining table.

“We explained to Admin that our demonstration today may have caused some disruption to their work, but it is nothing compared to the disruption ASEs experience from having to go hungry, having to forgo essential medical care, facing harassment and discrimination—these conditions are unacceptable and impact our work,” said Ish Green, an ASE in Sociology, adding:

“We need change now.”

“Over and over again Admin has delayed returning articles to us in bargaining,” said Natalie Yaw, an ASE in Chemistry. “We’ve done the math: it took them four months to respond to one of our proposals, and their response time is consistently 2 to 3 times longer than ours. Their bargaining team only agreed to meet for one and a half days in October. None of this is timely bargaining, and none of this is helping us get to a fair agreement.”

In response to the action, Chancellor Chilton committed to calling WSU President Schulz and returning a response within 24 hours about what steps Admin would take to ensure a timely agreement is reached.

On Nov. 29, the President of the WSU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) delivered a letter to Chancellor Chilton and President Schulz signed by more than 100 supportive WSU faculty and staff members demanding that WSU Admin reach an agreement quickly and fairly with the ASE bargaining team.

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Previously at The STAND:

WSU academic student employees vote to OK strike (Nov. 8, 2023)

‘Momentous day’ for WSU student workers (Nov. 4, 2022) — UAW: Academic Student Employees at Washington State University have succeeded in forming union.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!