SEATTLE — Graduate teaching assistants at the University of Washington had picket-line assignments Sunday and were making other late preparations for a strike scheduled to begin this morning, while administrators continued to press for a legislative solution.
University President Richard McCormick said in an e-mail to all faculty and students that the administration remains willing to work with the Graduate Student Employee Action Coalition, but "we must have a legal framework before we can engage in bargaining. This is not a unique posture. We have exactly this kind of legal framework for each of the 33 bargaining units, organized by nine unions, with which we work quite successfully."
The teaching-assistant union, which is affiliated with United Auto Workers, has contended the university can recognize GSEAC and negotiate without a framework established by special enabling legislation.
"We’re confident that that pressure will help the administration begin to bargain with us," GSEAC spokeswoman Melissa Meade said late Saturday.
Picket lines were scheduled to go up at 8 a.m. Monday, graduate students said.
The union represents 1,400 teaching assistants, course graders and other graduate employees at the university.
McCormick said in his e-mail Friday that the university has agreed to work with the teaching assistants on a proposal to be submitted to lawmakers — and to recognize their group as the collective bargaining agent once the legislation passes — if the students call off their strike.
A strike could delay the posting of final grades, and some professors have indicated they will not mark exams or issue grades while the strike continues.
Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to email@example.com or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.