Student workers at Western Washington University have voted to unionize by a margin of 98 percent, according to a press release by the union, known as Western Academic Workers United–UAW.
The union will be composed of 1,100 tutors, teaching assistants, research assistants and other students who do research and instructional work for the university. The union will be the first majority-undergraduate union in the state, the press release said.
The union aims to seek “protections from wage theft, access to short- and long-term leave, reasonable scheduling, and fair and equal pay for equal work,” one graduate assistant stated, adding, “As it stands, none of these things are guaranteed at Western.”
WWU’s 1,500 operational student employees—those who do maintenance, clerical and other similar roles—are also looking to unionize.
“If successful, their effort would make WAWU-UAW the largest majority-undergraduate union in the country, and the first to win wall-to-wall recognition for student workers employed by a public university,” the press release said.