Platform

We, the UFWW, propose this platform to indicate our key principles and positions. The UFWW platform represents our commitment to the Western faculty. The UFWW welcomes other faculty to join us and suggest other issues and interests.

PRINCIPLES

ENHANCE THE MISSION OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION

From the early years of statehood, Western faculty has taught the students of Washington State . This legacy is rooted in a deep commitment to public higher education: offer quality higher education to a broad body of students, not just the privileged few. This mission continues today as increasing numbers of students apply to Western. However, our public education mandate is threatened by declining state resources for higher education and attempts to divert public funds to private institutions. We commit to returning the state to the founding mission of public higher education.

RESPECT ALL FACULTY

We respect the needs and priorities of our diverse disciplines and acknowledge the differences among the colleges, departments, and programs. The Faculty Collective Bargaining Act (FCBA) requires full representation and we commit to represent all faculty regardless of college, department and rank. We commit to protecting academic freedom for all faculty.

ENHANCE FACULTY GOVERNANCE

We commit to working with the Faculty Senate and all other curricular and faculty governance bodies. We commit to honor the Senate’s role in academic and curricular matters and believe this Senate voice can be strengthened by collective bargaining.

SERVE THE STUDENTS

We believe the faculty union would enhance our opportunity to do what we do best: engage students in the classroom through our scholarly and creative endeavors. We commit to provide quality education for each Western student.

WE THEREBY COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STRONG, DEMOCRATIC FACULTY UNION

We commit to having a faculty vote on union representation. We commit to a participatory democratic local modeled on our current Organizing Committee. Faculty from all departments and colleges are encouraged to join the Organizing Committee and participate in setting union policies and priorities. All officers will stand for open election by union members. Finances will be open and reported and transparency will be maintained in all procedural and business matters. Membership will be voluntary and all contracts will be ratified by the local membership. We will make use of the experience of other faculty unions in developing our contract proposals. We will work with other United Faculty unions to support public higher education.

POSITIONS

1. ESTABLISH SHARED GOVERNANCE

The FCBA requires the administration to recognize and negotiate with the union certified by the faculty in a supervised election. If we are elected, we commit to negotiate with the administration as equals and bargain in an atmosphere of fairness and respect. We commit to joining with the administration to increase support for public higher education in Olympia .

2. FOCUS ON IMPROVED WORKING CONDITIONS

We commit to bargain for the following issues:

    * Clear and predictable tenure and promotion policies and expectations created from the 

       needs and standards of distinct disciplines and departments

    * Clear, consistent and equitable policies for limited-term faculty

    * Workload assignments that respect department distinctions

    * Safe and healthy classrooms and offices

    * Faculty decision-making on activities affecting teaching, including enrollment, facilities, 

       and resources for instruction

3. FOCUS ON INCREASED SALARY, WAGES AND BENEFITS

According to the Higher Education Coordinating Board, faculty salaries at Western continue to slip in comparison to peer institutions. We commit to vigorous bargaining and lobbying for a compensation package that helps Western retain and attract talented and committed faculty, including:

    * Cost of living adjustments (COLA)

    * Annual salary increases

    * Department distinctions for salary bases

    * Consistent policies in starting salaries

    * Salary compression equity

    * Merit pay policies driven by faculty and department standards

    * Health care benefits

    * Parking

We commit to using the research capacity of our union affiliates, Washington Education Association (WEA), Washington Federation of Teachers (WFT), National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to scrutinize university budgets and programs to direct dollars to faculty and the curriculum. We will insist on clear and transparent reviews of budgets.

4. ESTABLISH CLEAR GRIEVANCE AND ARBRITRATION PROCEDURES

A collective bargaining contract is enforceable by both grievance procedures and third party arbitration. We believe that this supports and strengthens the existing grievance procedures of the faculty senate. We commit to using the expertise of our union affiliates to assist us in enforcing the collective bargaining contract.

5. LOBBY IN OLYMPIA FOR PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION

We will use our voice, the voices of other faculty unions, and the power of our state union affiliates, WEA and WFT, to lobby for increased resources and quality policies for public higher education. We will use our expertise in testimony and hearings on issues important to our work and mission.