UW President Ana Mari Cauce Makes Counteroffer in Light of TA Strike: “You can take cash tips.”

by ELIZABETH BERNBAUM AND ALYSON PODESTA
Published: May 19, 2018
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Courtesy of Elizabeth Bernbaum

University of Washington – UW President Ana Mari Cauce addressed the university’s student employee body on Wednesday, proposing a new counteroffer during continued contract negotiations. “The UW prides itself on its equity, inclusion, and fair practices. That’s why we’re with you. On your side. Regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, or religion, everyone can take advantage of the beauty that is our capitalist system. In line with these pillars of Husky doctrine, you may now accept tips. This is a major win for you kids, you know.”

The announcement follows the Student Employees’ daylong strike last Tuesday, during which UAW Local 4121, UW’s union for academic student employees, demanded a three percent wage increase within the first year of the new contract and an expansion of healthcare coverage and childcare subsidies. UAW Local 4121 also rejected new fees which would place net wage below the state minimum.

Sources report that Cauce’s announcement came from her gilded presidential bathtub in the back of Gerberding’s executive relief facilities. “I do this once every week,” said Cauce during an interview with reporters from The Fishwrapper. “I fill the tub with the prettiest, crispest $100 bills. It reminds me that if you work hard enough, you will eventually pick the fruits of your labor. These students will understand that too once they have a ‘real’ job in the ‘real’ world,” said Cauce before settling deeper into her cushioned cornucopia of bright green cash.

Shortly after receiving the news, Political Science TA Maya Patel left campus for her routine inspection of Safeway’s “reduced items” aisle.

“Today is my lucky day,” explained the 23-year-old graduate student excitedly. “ One of my students tipped me $3 after class, so tonight, I’m going to splurge a little — I think I’ll buy a Fuji apple to go along with my ramen. I’m gonna feast.”

Patel had been passionately leading the strike on South campus earlier in the week. In conversation with a reporter from The Fishwrapper, Patel said that she knew enough was enough when she heard rumors about two TAs who had been camping out in Odegaard Library for the past week because they couldn’t make rent. However, Patel no longer felt the need for a raise after she learned that TAs could lobby their students for tips, and she got her hands on those sweet, sweet $3. “It reminds me of my time at Denny’s. I wish I had those wages again … ” Patel lamented wistfully.

Cauce acknowledged the plight of the Odegaard campers with hopeful sympathy in her address to the students as well. “As a world class institution, UW commits itself to teaching students — not just about computer science and bioengineering, but also about character. Sometimes, you’ve got to put a little work in; slog through a little mud before you get to climb that economic ladder to prosperity. Nothing’s wrong with that. Sure, you might be hungry now and then, but at other universities, you’d starve,” the president said proudly. “You should feel appreciative that you have the opportunity to work here. And now, with tips, if you give a little extra, you can get a little extra to stave off those hunger pangs. That’s the American Way. The Husky Way.”