29 April 2010

Whereas, whereas, whereas

Resolution passed without dissent at the UAW Local 4121 membership meeting last night:

Resolution of UAW local 4121 membership calling on the bargaining committee to call a strike.

Whereas UAW Local 4121 and the University of Washington have been in bargaining for two months without reaching a new collective bargaining agreement;

Whereas the University of Washington has the financial resources to resolve this labor dispute while making improvements to the benefits and compensation of UAW 4121 members;

Whereas the University of Washington’s corporate benefits administrators have made profits off of UAW 4121 members by agreeing to inflated health insurance premiums in order to receive kickbacks from the health insurance carrier;

Whereas the University of Washington’s top administration payroll has only increased as vulnerable workers, such as UAW 4121 members, have been forced to shoulder the burden of budget cuts;

Whereas the Student Worker Coalition at the University of Washington has called on a strike on May 3 after the expiation of the current UAW 4121 collective bargaining agreement with the University of Washington;

Whereas the lead bargainer for the University of Washington, Lou Pisano, circulated an email calling on management to retaliate against employees participating in job actions; thereby directly attempting to silence the membership;

Whereas other campus unions, including SEIU 925 and WFSE 1488, have already passed resolutions in support of a UAW 4121 strike.

Be it resolved that the membership of UAW 4121 calls on the bargaining committee to exercise the authority granted by the membership by a vote of 90% on February 26th, 2010 to call a strike if an agreement cannot be reached with the University of Washington;

Further, the membership urges the bargaining committee to seek strike sanctions from the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council, increase grassroots efforts to organize for a strike, and continue to reach out to other local unions for support.

Yup. So there's two days left to get this thing figured out. I really do hope that we get a fair new contract before this one runs out.

Primary issues still on the table (i.e. the U has refused to move on them thus far)...
-Compensation for increased tuition and fees
-Tutoring and writing centers

Each of these things is kind of a big deal for TAs and for grad students in general. If we can't take care of ourselves, our kids, the classes we're teaching, if we don't have any kind of infrastructure supporting us... how are we supposed to do our jobs? How are we supposed to work on our own research?

And regarding the supposed 'wage increases' that the UW keeps trumpeting as an example of our being unreasonable: we're the only employees on campus who are required to pay tuition and fees as a condition of our employment. Tuition and fees are increasing dramatically every year, representing a straightforward cut to the amount of money that we're supposed to live on. We're asking, in other words, for the university not to cut our wages. Is that so unreasonable?

All y'all have a great day. I'm off to read about Lacan.

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