We hope that your spring break was restful and that you’re heading into this new quarter rejuvenated and ready to stand together to fight for our first contract as Western Academic Workers United (WAWU-UAW)!

We had our sixteenth bargaining session with WWU Admin Monday (4/1) and while we are making good progress on our articles, some stark differences have arisen between the universe that we are trying to create with our contract vs the one the university believes we should live in.

Fundamentally, we believe having a job at Western should provide student workers an affordable way to live in Bellingham and support their path towards a degree.  WWU Admin, on the other hand, thinks student workers deserve the bare minimum in workplace protections and compensation that doesn’t reflect the cost of living in Bellingham. Their proposals place the burden of funding Western on our backs and leave us at risk to life’s uncertainties. 

WWU Admin is slowing down the bargaining process and making it clear that they are not willing to move towards our logical, evidence- based proposals (A prime example of delay tactics: if this is the first WAWU email that you’re receiving, it’s because Western Admin waited until the very last week of Winter Quarter to give us the list of Winter Student Employees).

The first step in that fight is our Strike Authorization Vote (SAV), which will be held on May 6th-9th. If enough of us vote “Yes”, our bargaining committee may set a deadline for management before calling a strike. This would send WWU admin a strong message that we are willing to withhold our work later in the quarter if they continue to undervalue our jobs. Check out the fundamental differences we have with Admin on each issue and Pledge to Vote YES! on May 6th!

If you have more questions about what a Strike Authorization Vote means and looks like, join us April 9th at 5 pm for a SAV town hall!! There will be FREE FOOD if you RSVP HERE. 

P.S. Have you recently received a scammy email from right wing organizations trying to discourage union membership? Check out this article about their shady tactics and their ultimate goals of making conditions worse for workers! 

Solidarity under the newly returned sun!

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

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

Paige Koenig, Graduate RA

Selena Knoblauch, Graduate TA

Taylar Christianson, Writing Studio Tutor

Theo Hytopoulos, Computer Science Faculty Assistant

Valerie Campbell, Financial Aid Peer Advisor