Dear WSU community,
As you may be aware, the Academic Student Employees (ASE), represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW), has indicated they intend to strike beginning tomorrow, January 17, if a fair contract is not reached. Unfortunately, after 40+ meetings and the exchange of more than 200 proposals on 40 different contract articles between the WSU negotiating team and UAW, we have yet to come to a consensus that is agreeable to all parties.
As we work through the next steps, I want to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring classes proceed without impediment. Provost Chilton recently sent a message that offers guidance on addressing issues with a potential strike and ensuring academic and research continuity moving forward. I encourage you to read that communication and refer to Human Resource Service’s “Job Actions & Work Stoppage Information” web page for more information on how the ASE strike could affect you and your department.
Our students play a key and integral role in our public research university structure. Our academic student employees are also our colleagues in research, teaching, and service, and the potential impacts of this kind of collective action are significant and far-reaching. While I regret that they believe a work stoppage is necessary at this time, I do not believe that this is reflective of negotiations or the generosity of the proposals we’ve put forward over the last ten months — the latest of which would result in an average wage increase of at least 20% for academic student employees on assistantships.
Our bargaining team will continue to work with the union to achieve a mutually acceptable contract. We remain ready and willing to continue our dialogue moving forward. Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your support during this challenging time.
KIRK H. SCHULZ
President, WSU System