UW Members Vote No!

97% of WFSE Members at the UW Vote No!

WFSE members at the University of Washington, UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and the Consolidated Laundry voted "No" to reject management’s Last Offer for the 2019-2021 union contract. Voting closed yesterday, with 97% of those who voted saying NO to the UW’s proposals on wages and working conditions.

"Our members, who take care of students and patients every day, can barely make ends meet in the Seattle metropolitan area," said Paula Lukaszek, President of WFSE Local 1488 at the UW, and WFSE Council 28's newly-elected Statewide Treasurer.

"While the UW claims they can't afford to pay us market wages, each year management increases the number of highly paid administrators and builds new multi-million dollar buildings. This resounding NO vote sends a clear signal that the UW must do better, and invest in its front line classified staff," said Lukaszek.

John Frazier, President of WFSE Local 3488 at Harborview Medical Center, said that "all other WFSE-represented university and college employees will receive raises of 3% in 2019 and 3% in 2020, plus 5% more for King County. That's 11% in raises."

"The UW offered us 4% guaranteed total over two years, which is only 2% per year. This is a slap in the face. We are tired of the UW balancing its budget on the backs of the lowest paid workers. No more!" said Frazier.

WFSE members are very upset over the University's mismanagement of its hospitals and believe that the UW has the money to pay real raises to the classified staff who make the University and UW Medicine work, day in and day out.

The UW employs hundreds of extremely well-paid managers, while the University's lowest-paid workers are not getting the raises they need to get by in the increasingly costly Seattle metropolitan area.

Leaders and members of WFSE Locals 1488 and 3488 will be meeting in the coming weeks to plan next steps, including resuming negotiations with the UW, as well as getting together to engage in an escalating campaign for better wages and working conditions.