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ASEs reach TA with UW

Agreement includes the largest raises the bargaining unit has ever won in a contract

The following is from UAW 4121:

SEATTLE (May 16, 2024) — Tuesday evening, Academic Student Employees reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the University of Washington. On Tuesday, thousands of ASEs walked off the job and onto the picket lines, and turned out en masse to rally on campus. They reached a Tentative Agreement after UW administration made key concessions that secured a fair agreement. ASEs will pause striking while they vote on whether to ratify the agreement. 

Highlights of the TA include a 36% increase to the base ASE salary over the life of the three-year agreementthe largest raises the bargaining unit has ever won in a contract. Additionally, ASEs maintained their $0 premium health insurance, won their first-ever articles on Immigration (expanding rights for non-citizen ASEs) and reasonable accommodations, and much more. Additional highlights of the agreement are here.

“This tentative agreement will be life-changing for ASEs who have been struggling to stay in their research at UW. Winning better pay that keeps up with industry standards, protecting $0 premium healthcare, and securing new rights for non-citizen ASEs dramatically improves our working conditions while ensuring UW remains competitive. We are thrilled to be part of a movement of academic workers who are continually raising the bar so we can all live and do our work with dignity,” said Miro Stuke, ASE in Environmental & Forest Sciences and Recording Secretary for UAW 4121.  

“ASEs have been talking to each other and advocating for our demands for years, and were willing to put it all on the line to win the pay and working conditions we deserve. Being part of a union means standing strong together, and having each other’s back, and with this strike and tentative agreement, we demonstrated just how much power workers can have,” said Levin Kim, President of UAW 4121.

“ASEs at the University of Washington have shown yet again that when workers stand together, they have tremendous power to win much-needed improvements to their pay and working conditions. Their strike delivered a tentative agreement that raises standards for academic workers at UW and everywhere,” said Mike Miller, Director of UAW Region 6. 

The contract will now go to the union’s membership for a ratification vote. The ratification vote will open today at 12pm, and end on Friday, May 17th at 7pm.

In recent months, UAW academic workers at Washington State University, Mount Sinai, the University of Washington, and the University of California have secured industry-leading contracts after being forced to strike in the course of contract negotiations.

UAW Local 4121 is the union of 6,000 ASEs at UW, undergraduate and graduate teaching and research assistants, graders, tutors, and instructors who do the majority of teaching and research at UW. Members of UAW Local 4121 also include Postdocs and Research Scientists at UW who often work closely with ASEs. The UAW represents roughly 120,000 higher education workers across the country

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