University of Washington Academic Student Employees go on strike

SEATTLE — Academic Student Employees (ASEs) went on strike Tuesday morning after members of UAW Local 4121 voted 2,528-10 (96.1%) to call a strike.

UAW Local 4121 is a union made up of 4,500 Research and Teaching Assistants at the University of Washington.

The union's bargaining committee has been in negotiations with the UW administration since February "in an effort to secure greater equity and fair contract," the union said in a news release.

“UW is a $7.2 billion institution, and we are fighting for fair compensation that allows not just the independently wealthy to go to grad school and contribute to the ideas and experiences that make UW a world-class institution,” Kaelie Giffel,a graduate student in the English department, said.

Employees went on strike, in groups, beginning at 5:00 a.m. at the UW Seattle campus and other locations in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma.

In response to the strike, the University of Washington provided the following statement:

“We recognize and value the contributions academic student employees make to the work and success of the UW’s research and instruction,” said Mindy Kornberg, UW’s vice president for human resources said. “We have listened to their concerns and sought to address them in our proposals at the bargaining table, while maintaining equity with other employees and ensuring fairness with respect to our other students. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith and hope to reach an agreement soon.”

Click here for more information on UW Local 4121.

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