Welcome to your weekly bargaining updates! As usual, we are keeping up the pace of bargaining to build our first contract as soon as possible. This week, we passed eight counter proposals across the table to Western Admin. We made movement towards WWU on Health and Safety, Travel Reimbursements, and Grievance Procedures and hope to reach a Tentative Agreement on these articles soon. Western is continuing to push back on Bereavement leave, saying they don’t think it is their responsibility to give student workers time off for the loss of a family member. We think this is unacceptable and it’s something that came up in our bargaining surveys. So we will keep fighting for this. 

On the other side of the table, it doesn’t appear that Western Administration has as much dedication to working quickly towards a finalized contract. Throughout the entire 6 hour session on Monday, WWU only presented three counters to us. Currently, we are waiting on Western’s response to 26 articles. We cannot negotiate these articles until Western responds to them. If Western continues at their rate of 3 counter proposals per session, our contract will not be finalized until next school year. 

It seems to us that the WWU admin bargaining team is doing everything in their power to move bargaining at a glacial pace. Not only is it clear that they are not dedicating the appropriate amount of time outside of the bargaining session to prepare counters, but they still haven’t proposed days to make up the SIX bargaining sessions they canceled last quarter.  

Meanwhile, ESEs are putting in the work to draft proposals, respond to counters, and be in long bargaining sessions—on top of being both students AND workers. We are committed to having a finalized contract that is mutually beneficial for both the university and its student workers by the end of this school year.  


Upcoming WAWU Events:

  • Bargaining returns again next Monday 2/5, from 11-5pm in VU 565. During this session, WAWU members will present counter articles on layoffs, immigration, grievance procedure, and personnel files. Western has promised us counters on accommodations and anti-discrimination articles. These are important articles that have a huge impact on the lives of ESEs. RSVP here to be in the room!!! The more bodies in the room, the more pressure we put on Western to take our issues seriously.
  • Operational Student Employee’s next bill hearing is TODAY (Friday 2/2) at 1:30. Take 30 seconds to SIGN IN PRO right now! OSEs are fighting for Western to recognize their union, and this is one way to help support that fight!
  • WAWU Monthly Membership Meeting is Tuesday, February 13th at 5pm in Environmental Science Building 313. RSVP HERE!
  • On March 2nd, we March 2 Stay Alive! Join the Poor Peoples’ Campaign and be a part of a mass assembly at Washington’s capitol to demand policies that fully address poverty and systemic injustices. Transportation to Olympia and lunch will be provided. RSVP here!

In solidarity and dedication,

WAWU Bargaining Committee

Ally Wehrle, Graduate TA

Ben Workman Smith, Graduate TA

David Cummins, Graduate RA/TA

Erin Grimes, Graduate TA

Erin Magarro, Library Tutor/Ethnic Student Center

Ev Coit, Graduate TA

Gabe Wong, Associated Students Peer Advisor

Jaime Blais, Graduate RA/TA

Josh Kinney, Business Management Faculty Assistant

Jude Ziliak, Academic Advising and Student Achievement Center Peer Advisor

Lexy Aydelotte, Graduate TA

Lydia Henderson, Graduate TA

Mickey Jolliff, Graduate RA/TA

Mason Nicholas, Student Technology Center Computer Assistant

Theo Hytopoulos, Computer Science Faculty Assistant

Valerie Campbell, Financial Aid Peer Advisor