Washington academic student workers get deal, halt strike

May 16, 2024
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The University of Washington and a union representing academic student employees there reached a tentative agreement Tuesday night, ending a strike after just one day.

The union, UAW Local 4121, noted in a news release Wednesday that the deal includes a 36 percent base salary increase over three years, “the largest raises the bargaining unit has ever won in a contract.”

A university spokesperson wrote in an email that there are five categories of academic student workers: premaster, intermediate, candidate, variable and hourly. He said the pay increases in the tentative agreement vary depending on the category—the hourly raises, for instance, equal about a 20 percent raise over three years.

The deal would also provide paid leave for immigration appointments and hearings and keep the student workers’ health insurance premiums at zero, among other benefits. The strike has been paused as union members vote, until 7 p.m. Friday, on whether to accept the tentative agreement, the release said.

UAW Local 4121 says it represents 6,000 academic student workers, including undergraduate and graduate teaching and research assistants, instructors, graders and tutors.

“This tentative agreement will be life-changing for ASEs who have been struggling to stay in their research at UW,” said Miro Stuke, an ASE and recording secretary for the union, in the release. Union president Levin Kim said in the release that ASEs “were willing to put it all on the line to win the pay and working conditions we deserve.”



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