Celebration echoed through Red Square last night after the University of Washington administration revealed that after months of negotiations they were finally submitting to the Academic Student Employees’ demands, providing sweeping financial reform to better compensate University ASE’s for their work.
“We heard the pleas from these members of our community and it just broke our [the committee’s] hearts” President Ana Mari Cauce said. “We stayed up all night, shifting funds around so that these workers would feel they are being properly appreciated for their efforts. To help empathize with these ASEs, I have reduced my salary from $910,000 to the average $25,000 salary of a TA. It just made sense.”
Construction projects for the next five years have been halted to renovate the TA offices as well as providing full medical benefits to all University employees. In addition, these new benefits include paid maternity, paternity, sibling, and distant relative leave, a reasonable amount of “mental health days”, and dental.
“This is a research university with one of the largest medical schools in the country,” Vice President Denzil Suite said. “ We heard the complaints of the ASE’s and thought ‘why haven’t we just shared the plethora of resources we have here at the university with those who actually work here’. We were amazed it took this long to ever think of something like that.”
University reforms do not stop with bettering the lives of student workers. Students can expect to see HFS lower the prices of on-campus housing to make the cost of living on campus more comparable to other campuses.
“It took some big shifts to overhaul the student cost of living here on campus. For one, we had to skip the administration bonfire ‒an annual event where the administrative staff sings songs and eat s'mores around a monumental flaming pile of out of state tuitions. We hope the saved funds will allow us to offer cheaper meals and lower dorm rates for the students.” The lower rates will apply exclusively to those living in Haggett and McMahon Halls as they enter their final years, while West Campus and the new North Campus dorms will face a 17% price increase every year for the foreseeable future.
“We would have fixed things sooner, but we didn’t know you all feel this way,” Cauce said in a press conference following the announcement. “Us administrative staff care about the workers and students here on campus and try to do everything in our power to make everyone feel welcome at the University of Washington.”