We now have a bargaining committee! On Saturday, voting in the Spring 2023 Bargaining Comitttee Election closed. The top two vote-getters in each category were elected in each contested category. In other categories that were not contested, the nominees were elected by acclamation. Meet your new BC members below.
A huge shoutout to every candidate who ran – thank you for putting in the time and effort to represent your colleagues and union members! Everyone should know that bargaining is a participatory and open process, and BC members, candidates, and members alike can all engage in all parts of the bargaining process.
History/Social Studies Major
Hi! I’m Erin Magarro (they/she)—a history buff, baker, lover of pop culture—and most importantly a proud member of WAWU. Since joining the effort in September 2022, me and my coworkers have successfully organized the majority of the Tutoring Center to sign in support of WAWU’s formation. Working consistently as a member of the OC (organizing committee) has brought me in community with student workers who love this campus enough to critique and improve it. Their spirit has steadily treated my nihilism and empowered me to seek membership on the bargaining committee (BC). As part of the BC I look forward to winning us wages that reflect rise in inflation, hourly guarantees, and an ameliorated Title IX processes. There is no excuse for the Title IX office to lose reports of harassment and leave the most vulnerable members of our community without a voice. My experience as a non-binary person of color in our community is a crucial perspective to have on a bargaining committee where issues of anti-racism, prevention of harassment, and discrimination will be addressed. A strong union is a community of support, and as a member of the bargaining committee I will continue to fight to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our WWU community.
Manufacturing Engineering Major
My name is William Watts, and I am a tutor who has been organizing with WAWU since the fall of 2022. I have spent this time talking to peers in my workplace, exploring other departments, and having conversations about our experiences. During these conversations, I have learned about our many unique workplaces across campus, as well as what they have in common. Some of the many issues tying us together include rent burden, cross campus transparency, and unpredictability in our working situations. Recently, I had the pleasure of testifying in Olympia before the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee. There, I spoke on how these issues specifically impact my fellow tutors and I, urging them to pass the legislation that would grant us collective bargaining rights. During bargaining, I am excited for us to win a new and better workplace for everybody at Western. I have a vision where equal work on campus gets equal pay regardless of department or student type. This includes tuition waivers for undergraduates. I look forward to us bargaining a minimum number of hours we can depend on for a quarter, and a guarantee that we see our schedules at a set time before starting work. I also envision a contract that prevents any Western student, worker or otherwise, from experiencing housing insecurity. This is what I will fight for, and I want to fight for it with you.
East Asian Studies Major
Hello! I’m Valerie Campbell, a senior undergraduate student here at WWU, and I am running for a Peer Advisor position on the bargaining committee. I joined WAWU in February and have rapidly organized my home department (Financial Aid) as well as find connections in other departments across campus. I am working behind the scenes to help run WAWU’s social media accounts and assist wherever I am needed. If elected as a member of the Bargaining Committee I wish to represent Work Study student employees and the unique struggles that we face. I envision a bargaining process where every voice is heard, and I believe we can negotiate a contract that does not compromise on justice, transparency, and equality. Western could not operate without us and it’s about time they recognized this and compensated us fairly!
Energy Science Major
Hi, I’m Gabe. I became involved in WAWU this January, but I had been hearing about WAWU since last spring. I got involved when I found out that WAWU is about uniting lots of kinds student workers. When I realized this, I was enchanted by the prospect of real shared governance at Western, a first step towards forcing Western to address the needs of its student workers.
Over the past two months talking to you, my peers, I know you want change. I hope that I can inspire and organize us to raise our expectations and to reach them by making clear and strong demands.
I’m seeking a position on the bargaining committee because I want to look Western’s administrators in the eyes, make demands, and know that they have to listen not because of who I am, but because of the collective power of student workers — because we keep Western running.
In my year and a half at Western, I have been strongly involved in Shred the Contract, and last spring I was elected as a Student Senator. These experiences have showed me that administrators don’t respond to strong arguments and rhetoric, the language they speak is power.
Together we have power, together Western must listen to us. I hope you choose me to channel our power.
If elected, I will make sure that we paid enough to live comfortably in Bellingham with its increasing housing prices.
I’ve been helping build WAWU for a year and a half. In that year and a half, I’ve learned a lot: how to talk to strangers, how to talk to legislators, how spreadsheets work. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is that meaningful leadership is *not* about talking a lot, or being smart and inspirational, or even being in the right. Meaningful leadership isn’t about “leading” at all. It’s about giving others — in this case, the thousands of student workers at WWU — the hope, the knowledge, and the confidence to lead for themselves. If you elect me, that is what I will continue to do. I think you should join me and the rest of our committee at the bargaining table, but if you can’t, I’ll make sure you’re a part of what happens.
My name’s Willa, I use she/her pronouns, and I am a graduate student in Geology with a TA position in Science, Math, and Technology Education (SMATE). I’m one of over 1000 student employees doing a lot of the educational labor that makes Western run, and I’m grateful to represent our unit on the bargaining committee. I am focused on holding the university accountable to their stated value of a “Commitment to equity and justice, and respect for the rights and dignity of others”. The university has a lot of catching up to do in providing us with a living wage and basic rights and protections as workers, and a good first contract for our union would see Western finally walking the walk on equity and justice. Through my year and half organizing with WAWU I’ve learned so much about building community and power. I’m inspired by the leadership and care found in every department, and I’m committed to representing every voice in our negotiation process.
As a computational biochemist we invite collaboration between laboratories for the better good of drug discovery. Here at WAWU, we openly collaborate with every student worker to hear and address needs that have not been answered as time progresses forward. Our work here is for the future student workers, and that is a propellant on it’s own.
Undergrad TAs / RAs
You deserve transparency, reliability and fair compensation for your work. Western won’t provide these basic rights until we hold them accountable.
I’ve worked as a Physics TA for 3 years after a year working in my community college’s tutoring center. My involvement in worker organizing started in September when I shared my story at the first monthly membership meeting. Since then I have collected authorization cards, organized physics worker meetings, attended weekly committee meetings and traveled to Olympia to lobby for our bills to state senators and representatives. I regularly devote at least 6 hours a week to building a powerful network of workers at WWU.
I will show up at the bargaining table prepared to put my foot down, be a broken record and make impactful changes to the way Western treats their workers across campus.
Health and Human Development, Public Health BS
Hi all! Since starting my undergrad degree at Western in 2019, I’ve been looking for ways to cultivate community and belonging. Feeling seen and respected by our university and employer is a huge piece of having a positive college experience. Collectively bargaining for better working conditions and benefits can improve our physical and mental health, social lives, academics, and ability to do our jobs! I’ve only been a member of WAWU for a few weeks. I have endless amounts to learn about the logistics of unionizing and bargaining. However, I’m committed to the process and would be honored to represent you in securing our demands!
I currently work as a peer advisor in the Academic Advising Center, a teaching assistant in the Biology Department, and a research assistant in the Health and Human Development Department. I’m passionate about access to mental health services, community resilience, and love working with kids. I’m also a huge fan of reality TV dating shows, making art, and chilling with my cat. Look forward to getting to know each of you better, and thank you for the opportunity!
Computer / Library Assistants
Electrical & Computer Engineering Major
First and foremost, I aim to be an advocate for the students and student employees of Western, and I hope to bring not my voice but the voice and input of the students and community members to ensure that they receive representation and have their thoughts and views heard. I am a strong advocate for transparency and safety on campus, especially in terms of university policy and training practices, and I have experience managing and training from a decade in the service industry as well as experience in academia from my current position as Makerspace Student Manager of the STC and receiving schooling from multiple colleges and universities over the years. I’ve minored in business administration and have first hand experience establishing my own side businesses and working with others to train them and bring them into the operation of those businesses, and my main goals are to expand upon that experience and offer aid and advice to whoever needs it, however they may need it, in pursuit of fair and equitable representation for all students and student employees across campus.
WGSS & PSY Major
I have no prior experience organizing or supporting union effort but am so proud to be a part of WAWU. I am hoping that WAWU is able to make WWU a better place not only for academic workers, but for students overall. During my time on the bargaining committee, I want to focus my efforts on disability advocation, a livable wage and benefits. My goal is to keep an open line of communication with the University to talk about problems that academic workers and students are facing.
If you ever see me at the library always feel welcome to come say hi! My passions are Stardew Valley (as well as other video games), reading, makeup, diamond painting and other crafts. I identify as a Sapphic leaning Bisexual and Demisexual, and use She/They pronouns.