Click to see

Click to see
Obama countdown

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thank God! A bold new contract to end micro-aggressions.

In theory unions exist for the benefit of the membership. It is the union's obligation to negotiate wages and working conditions. The union's ability to raise wages is often constrained by the economic environment in which it operates. In other words it can't get blood out of a turnip but just because a union cannot raise wages it does not mean that there are no intangible benefits to union membership. For instance, who if not your pugnatious shop steward, is going to protect you from micro-aggressions? Yeah, that's something not even John L. Lewis ever thought of, that and lactation facilities and access to all gender restrooms.
The UAW is quite proud of its new contract with the University of Washington covering graduate student assistants. Probably the UAW is grateful when it can sign a contract with anyone these days after bringing the automotive industry to its knees, and decimating its membership in the process but it's not dwelling on the past. The future belongs to the bold! It's not the earth the meek inherit, it's the dirt. The new contract contains some strong language.
Micro-Aggressions:​​The University agreed to a definition of micro-aggressions (“everyday exchanges –including words and actions – that denigrate or exclude individuals based on their membership in a group or class”) and that such workplace behavior is grievable under the contract. Moreover the University agreed to meet three (3) times per year to discuss the joint goal of eliminating micro-aggressions and developing trainings for ASEs, faculty, and departments

UW shall provide reasonable break time and facilities for expressing breast milk, and adequate, clean, private, space for storing a pump and insulated container. The University also agreed to create a webpage listing lactation stations of which UW is aware and to which additions can be made.

​UW shall provide adequate access to all-gender bathrooms (including reasonable accommodation for travel time), and has committed to converting or constructing 26 all-gender bathrooms by the end of Summer 2015.
One might quibble that the subject of fainting couches is completely ignored in the language as are safe rooms where the aggrieved can seek sanctuary from the many travails of campus life.
So much for the intangible benefits; let's talk money. How's $11 per hour sound?
As part of our ongoing campaign to push for full implementation of the City of Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance for all student workers we’ve marked another significant victory. In addition to winning $11.00 for all student hourlies beginning April 1, 2015, we’ve also gotten the University to commit to a new minimum for at least one additional year, as follows:
2014/15 academic year: The University has committed to increase the minimum rate for all hourly ASEs (regardless of work location) to at least $11.00 per hour beginning on April 1, 2015, and in addition to increase all hourly rates by 2% on July 1, 2015.
They get nothing! The minimum wage in Seattle is $15 and after 16 years of schooling they make $11.  One wonder how the university and UAW negotiators could keep a straight face long enough to ink this contract.

No comments:

Post a Comment