Last week we had our 17th bargaining session! While we continue to make progress with WWU admin, it’s clear that they see us differently than other employees on campus. 

In response to our proposal of paid vacation time for hourly workers, WWU admin rejected the concept altogether. But how is our labor different from other employees at Western who receive vacation time? Why does being a student as well as a worker exclude us from these common workplace benefits and protections? Additionally, in Western’s latest anti-discrimination and harassment counter proposal, they continued to push back against language that guarantees supportive measures for educational student workers who file discrimination and harassment complaints. Currently, Western’s Title IX process does not provide adequate and timely support for survivors—not to mention WWU’s track record of misplacing and dropping cases altogether. What’s the point of a Title IX office if they can’t provide support when we need it the most?

Educational Student Employees (ESEs) continue to show up and put in the work every single week to meet WWU Admin at the bargaining table, but Western has done the opposite. Today we were supposed to have our 18th bargaining session, but Western’s lawyer canceled at the last minute. Since our first session on October 2nd, 2023, we’ve missed seven bargaining sessions due to Western’s lawyer not being able to attend. WWU Admin has also requested mediation (which means a neutral third party would come to our sessions and help make decisions about issues that WWU Admin thinks we are currently at an impasse over). There are still 19 articles actively being negotiated and we are making good progress on them without a mediator –  we’ve Tentatively Agreed to 8 articles in the past month alone. Meanwhile, WWU Admin have also not brought articles dealing with our major priorities back to the table to even negotiate over. It appears that Western is unwilling to work together to solve these issues.

These are just a few of the reasons why we’re having a Strike Authorization Vote from May 6th – 9th. In order for WWU Admin to take our jobs and demands seriously, every single one of us needs to participate in this vote. Pledge to vote “YES” here! And if you have more questions about what a Strike Authorization Vote is, check out the FAQ

Upcoming events:

  • Bargaining Session #18 — Thursday, April 18th from 11:00 – 5:00 pm in the Solarium. – RSVP here
  • Bargaining Session #19 —Monday, April 22nd from 11:00 – 5:00 pm in the Solarium. 
  • May Day Info Picket — Join unionized workers from across campus on May 1st to bring awareness to the issues we’re facing at the negotiation table. More details soon—RSVP here

In solidarity,

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