University of Washington Bargaining Updates

Tentative Agreement Ratified

UW members voted to ratify the tentative agreement. View the TA with markup here.

Final Bargaining Update-September 29, 2020

The University of Washington came back to the bargaining table and presented your bargaining team with an improved, modified last best and final offer on September 28th. Voting has closed. 

Bargaining Update - September 19, 2020

The University of Washington presented your bargaining team with their last, best and final on September 19. Your bargaining team did NOT accept. 

Meet the Team

Click here to view the 2021-2023 bargaining team.

Bargaining Updates

Final Update - September 19, 2020
September 16, 2020

August 18, 2020

August 11, 2020
July 30, 2020
June 22, 2020

September 16, 2020

Your UW Bargaining Team met with management yesterday and worked for 11 hours to get closer to a fair contract. Read on for an update from on our recent sessions with management.

As you know, the economic forecast for the coming years is grim. We are holding strong on our commitments to you:

  • Fighting take-backs and preserving our contract
  • Ensuring proper PPE and safety procedures
  • Making real gains on equity, diversity, and fairness at the UW

Unfortunately, our counterparts on management’s team did not come to our meetings with the same spirit of honesty and fairness. They did not have answers to our hard questions and would not commit to taking bold actions to make concrete progress on equity and diversity.

Preserving Our Contract in the Current Crisis
Management has threatened wage freezes and more concessions at the bargaining table. Recently, our union secured status quo healthcare, a significant victory. We’ve made significant progress in securing step increases. We must stop take-backs! We must protect our wages and benefits while we prepare for the fight against COVID-related layoffs and harmful furlough policies. Management wants to be able to furlough members with just 24 hours notice—sign the petition now.

Justice for UW Workers
We can tell you this: What will not remain status quo at the UW is equity, diversity, and respect. We are holding our union’s line with management on fairness for all, particularly the Black and other People of Color who have faced racism, discrimination, and systemic disadvantage at their place of work.

We must all be treated with respect and dignity. We must be able to speak and be heard. This is the foundation of our union.

Safety Equipment and Procedures that Work
When it comes to safety, COVID has illustrated that slow progress is not acceptable. To keep ourselves and each other safe, we must adapt at the speed of the virus. We are dialing in the details on health and safety in our contract—that means proper PPE, but also effective training on how to use safety equipment and clear protocols. We can’t accept anything less.

Your Voice
As always, your voices are critical to this process. Join us on September 22nd, 12:30p.m. to 1p.m. at UWMC main entrance (Pacific Street by the stadium), for our Secure Staffing = Secure Care Rally, to fight against unfair furlough policies that would target UW’s lowest paid employees.

In solidarity,

Your UW Bargaining Team


AUGUST 18, 2020

We continue to fight the employer, the budget crisis, and COVID-19. And we are fighting for you at the bargaining table.

Yesterday, your Bargaining Team created and submitted to UW a “What If” extension of the current agreement that would:

Economics & Healthcare

  • Maintain step increases and prevent wage reductions
  • Maintain status quo on healthcare
  • Extend U-PASS
  • Expand weekend pay premiums to include custodians at Harborview Medical Center, who had previously been excluded
  • Allow WFSE to reopen discussion for wage increases should the economic forecast improve
  • Prevent UW from reopening discussions to cut our wages


  • Ensure that every member has access to any and all PPE needed to safely perform their job duties and instruction on how to use it by a qualified trainer
  • Prevent disciplining of members who refuse to work in the event that UW cannot provide PPE in compliance with OSHA, LNI, CDC or other regulatory agencies

Diversity & Inclusion

  • Require monthly meetings of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee to discuss 1) Promotional opportunities, 2) Hiring practices, 3) Instances of discrimination, harassment, microaggressions, and bullying, 4) Evaluation of supervisors and managers
  • Create an EDI Sub-Committee specifically for members working at UW Facilities
  • Require that the EDI Committee and Sub-Committee produce a regular report with action items and progress updates on previous action items and send it to all bargaining unit members
  • Guarantee paid release for EDI Committee/Sub-Committee members to attend meetings and relevant trainings

We believe these proposals would help document everyday disrespect not typically rising to the level of a grievance and identify patterns of abuse by managers and supervisors that can be brought to a shop steward or council rep for a formal grievance.

We also believe these proposals would ensure that we aren’t just sending more diverse people up the ladder into management but also sending them up the ladder with accountability from below.

In solidarity,

Your UW Bargaining Team


August 11, 2020

This Monday, your UW bargaining team met with management and held firm to our demands for equity, respect, fair promotional opportunities, and safety—but we need you with us. Have you filled out the UW Bargaining Survey (circulated by email) so that we can fight for what is most important to you?

Here is how our discussion went on Monday.

Justice and Equity
We remain focused on the work we have done as a union to demand change on issues of discrimination and lack of equity, but management is refusing to prioritize racial justice, or even discuss it.

We stand behind our ask for detailed commitments from the UW:

  • What have the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committees at the UW and Harborview accomplished? How are they making a concrete difference for UW workers who are dealing with systemic bullying, harassment, and lack of support at work?
  • In the letter signed by Paul Ramsey and others, the UW leadership calls Black UW employees "our colleagues"—but where is the respect, integrity, and equal standing that colleagues deserve?
  • What action has the UW taken to address the pattern of not responding to workplace behavior complaints?

"What If," Healthcare and Step Increases
As of now, we are still hearing and making counter proposals to "what if" scenarios from management.

We remain committed to maintaining status quo for our healthcare.

Additionally, we are still considering managers' "what if" proposal of an extension of step increases.

Your Voice is Critical
Without you, we have no power to make gains in these important areas during bargaining. We are only as strong as the solidarity we hold together as union members. Please complete the UW Bargaining Survey (circulated by email) today.

In solidarity,

Your UW Bargaining Team


July 30, 2020

Our union bargaining team met with management today to discuss our 2021-2023 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Our mission: When we bargain, we do so with recognition of the sacrifices we've made as a workforce throughout this pandemic. Our goal is to mitigate the economic impacts on members and build a better future at UW.

However, UW management is digging in their heels. UW presented "what if" scenarios, which we took as a threat. They presented two options:

  1. Extend our existing contract (0% cost of living adjustment in 2021 and 0% in 2022) with a few updates or
  2. Proceed with bargaining, in which case they would seek mandatory furloughs, step freezes, and possibly worse

Now is the time to speak up. Not only has management delayed on providing necessary PPE throughout the pandemic, now they want to disregard our mission to build a better future at UW. They've expressed no interest in discussing matters involving dignity and respect—issues that don't involve money.

In order to move the needle, we'll need to take action outside the bargaining table.

Complete your bargaining survey today (circulated by email)!

In solidarity,

WFSE UW Bargaining Team


June 22, 2020

Monday, June 22 was day one of negotiations for the 1488 and 3488 bargaining team. We set the tone for bargaining with a powerful opening statement, written by custodian and bargaining team member John McClung, to hold the University accountable to its mission of “social change” and “driving public good.”

“The lowest paid front-line workers should not bear the brunt of the pandemic and economic crisis, yet we have been. The University of Washington needs to demonstrate leadership within the greater community of Washington during this great time of uncertainty by living up to its mission and promises and prioritizing labor which recent history has proven to be ESSENTIAL.”

After the first battle over ensuring release time for ALL members of the bargaining team,  our team made a strong presentation of our initial proposals. Our bargaining team is fighting for respect at the workplace, safety protections for all, equitable pay and opportunities for training and promotion.

We will be presenting more of our initial proposals on July 9. Watch for future events in support of our union’s negotiations. We will be organizing both virtual and safe in-person job actions. We will need help getting flyers out to  members AND help getting text numbers and home email addresses for members who want to get the latest news fastest.

In solidarity,

1488 and 3488 Bargaining Team



Need help reaching your bargaining team representative? Contact the Member Connection Center at 833-MCC-WFSE or at [email protected].


Team Members

HMC At-Large

Nate Wilson

HMC Trades

Gordy Behnke

UWMC At-Large

Charles Howell

Seyoum Kassa

Bothell, Tacoma, PAC Lab & Friday Harbor At-Large

Robert Hand

UW Main Campus At-Large

Joe Davenport

Kathleen De Maria


(Leslie) Wayne Johnson

Daniel Peltier

Campus-wide CustodianJohn McClung

HMC Custodian

Steffan Carter  

Local 1488 President

Paula Lukaszek