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hypocrisy

Thanks, Abie, for sharing the perspective of two academic student employees. I suspect that they are not attorneys but are discussing their personal interpretation of “non-interference.”

I’m not an attorney either, but my personal interpretation of “non-interference” does not extend to causing innocent bystanders to suffer by withholding their education and their ability to graduate on time. In my opinion, that is unethical. It is the right of the ASEs to strike, but it is the right and duty of faculty members to fulfill their responsibilities to undergraduate students without interfering in the strike.

According to the provost, ASEs earn a median wage of $32/hour for a 20 hour per week position. In addition, they receive tax-free tuition waivers that are substantial. That seems like a generous compensation package. Remember, these employees are students; they have not yet earned a terminal degree. Our unionized resident physicians, who have already earned their terminal degrees, earn less on an hourly basis. Other workers at UW and in the community who earn $15/hour for 40 hours bring home less per week than than the typical ASE, who works only half as much but gets paid at more than twice the rate. And that doesn’t include the tuition waiver and other benefits.

There was earlier discussion of the cost of a one bedroom apartment in the University District. I realize that living expenses in Seattle have risen. It is not necessary, however, for students to live right next to campus, by themselves, in a one bedroom apartment. They can live with a roommate, rent a studio apartment, or commute a few miles from a less expensive neighborhood. If a student has a partner, in most instances the partner can also hold a job. The few students who are single parents could have difficulty, but I think we can address this situation by being even more generous with childcare and healthcare benefits for single parents.

All this talk of supporting striking student workers who are reasonably paid and whose working conditions have improved (yes, because of union negotiations) misses the importance of supporting our undergraduate students, many whom are first generation, socioeconomically disadvantaged, or otherwise vulnerable and depend on a good education and a degree to find a decent job.

Best regards,

Gautham Reddy, Professor of Radiology

On Jun 1, 2018, at 9:27 AM, Abraham D Flaxman wrote:

> Hi everyone, I’m passing on the following message from two UW graduate students who would like faculty to know their perspective on how to avoid interference in the case of a strike.
>
> –Abie
>
>
> Dear faculty colleagues at the University of Washington,
>
> As many of you may know, the academic student employees here at the University of Washington are prepared to go on strike beginning tomorrow, June 2. This has understandably generated many questions regarding the appropriate, ethical, and legal actions that University of Washington faculty should take as we move forward. As both the UW administration and SEIU legal representatives have made clear, faculty are not supposed to interfere with this strike. We wish to make our perspective on non-interference clear. In our view, any action that would potentially undermine our strike (such as grading papers that would normally be graded by us, moving dates of final exams, or soliciting help to replace our labor) constitutes interference. For this reason, we ask that faculty refuse to replace our labor in any way whatsoever. For many faculty, this may mean telling administration that it is simply not possible to assign grades for a course. In short, we ask that faculty not step ou!
ts!
> ide their normal job duties or make any effort, however well-intentioned, to fill the gaps left by the departure of our labor as doing so is de facto support for central administration against our cause.
>
> Sincerely,
> David Kumler and TJ Walker
> University of Washington ASEs and members of UAW4121
>
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