29 April 2010

GPSS Resolution

One day left to get this bargaining thing worked out, y'all. Support is coming in from all over the country. For a partial list (and to read some of them!) check out the Student/Worker Coalition blog here.

I just wanted to throw this resolution out there for y'all to read. Passed by the Graduate & Professional Student Senate yesterday. Original document linked to from UAW website here.


Sponsored by: Lindsay Morse (GPSS Secretary), Jake Faleschini (President), Sean Schneider (Genome Sciences), Charles Plummer (Earth and Space Sciences), Trond Nilsen (Industrial and Systems Engineering), Ashli Baker (Classics), Naomi Campa (Classics), Sarah Reyneveld (Vice President), Shawn Mincer (Social Work), Aaron Naumann (Anthropology)

Written by: Lindsay Morse (GPSS Secretary)

Resolution Number: 05.09-10

WHEREAS UAW Local 4121 represents approximately 4,500 graduate and undergraduate Academic Student Employees (ASEs) at the University of Washington, many of which are constituents of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS); and

WHEREAS ASEs (Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, Tutors, Graders and others performing similar work) are responsible for much of the critical frontline work that makes the University of Washington (UW) an internationally recognized institution of higher education: conducting research that helps bring $1.15 billion in grants and contracts into the University; providing more than half of the instructional contact hours to the 42,000 undergraduates who attend UW; and helping to make UW competitive in attracting first-rate students from all over the world; and

WHEREAS collective bargaining rights for ASEs were legislated by the Washington State Legislature in Olympia in 2002; and

WHEREAS ASEs on campus make approximately $15,000 per year on average—an amount that is several thousands of dollars below the “Self Sufficiency Standards” for one adult living in King County in 2009, and tens of thousands of dollars below the Self Sufficiency Standards for the many ASEs with children; i and

WHEREAS the Local 4121 Bargaining Team is proposing increases to wages to keep up with cost of living—particularly rising costs of tuition and fees; improvements to the health insurance benefits to cover families more affordably and protect ASEs from extraordinary costs; and better student/instructor ratios by restoring cuts that were made to instructional positions in previous years; and

WHEREAS the budget for grants and contracts, which fund approximately 60% of ASEs, has been increasing and the UW brought in an additional $57 million last year in grants and contracts, with continuing grants already budgeting wage increases for ASEs; and

WHEREAS the cost of wage increases for ASEs that are not paid by grants is .1% of the UW operating budget; and the UW Board of Regents approved a 2.5% wage increase for ASEs last year at a cost of only $664,000; and

WHEREAS without increases, the wages paid to an ASE at the average yearly (9 month) rate drops by more than 5% per year due to student fees that must be paid as a condition of employment; and

WHEREAS Local 4121 members voted overwhelmingly (99%) in favor of the bargaining agenda; and

WHEREAS the current ASE contract is set to expire after April 30, 2010,


THAT GPSS supports the efforts of the UAW Local 4121 leadership and bargaining team; and

THAT GPSS urges the UW Administration and the University bargaining committee to come to a timely and fair agreement on the new contract; and

THAT this resolution be forwarded to UW President Mark Emmert; UW Provost Phyllis Wise; the UW Board of Regents; Louis Pisano, Assistant Vice President of Labor Relations; Mindy Kornberg, Vice President for Human Resources; and David Parsons, UAW Local 4121 President.

Presented to GPSS Senate and approved on April 28, 2010 with 59 votes in favor, none opposed and 3 abstentions.

All y'all have a great night. I've got a belly full of gyro and I'm going to go get some sleep.

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