The University of Washington is facing massive budget cuts which means tuition hikes, cuts to financial aid, and overcrowded classrooms for students.
It means layoffs, overwork, dangerous working conditions, furloughs, health care cuts, and union busting for workers.
On March 4th we will fight back to defend our education and our jobs! Students and workers across the country and around the world will be striking on that day, responding to a call emerging from the mass movement against budget cuts in California. Activists in some California cities are even organizing to build for city-wide strikes and actions on the 4th!
Here at UW we have tried rallying several times and it hasn't been enough to stop the cuts. It's time we up the ante by showing the legislators in Olympia that there will be no more business as usual on our campus as long as they try to balance the budget at our expense!
It's also time we show UW President Mark Emmert and the Board of Regents that UW is not for sale to corporations. The budget cuts are no excuse for targeting cuts towards custodians and other immigrant workers, working class students, students of color, women, and queer folks. We need to fight to make sure that UW is open and accessible for ALL people regardless of income!
Strikes are an effective form of struggle and have won concrete victories in California. By walking out of a class students show that this school cannot run without our daily cooperation. We feel our collective power. By setting up picket lines we will try to convince other students to skip class once so that our classes and our classmates will even be here next year! We hope this will inspire more people to join the struggle and will be one step among many toward building the kind of mass movement we need to actually stop these cuts.
Workers at UW, community members, and high school students are invited to come join the picket lines with us. Students will be striking not only for our own demands but for those of workers, high school students, and anyone else affected by budget cuts!
Washington Federation of State Employees Local 1488, SEIU local 925, and UAW local 4121 all decided to support this student strike after months of rank and file mobilization. WFSE Local 1488 is the union that represents thousands of workers and staff members at UW and Harborview. Rank and File WFSE members, especially custodians, have been at the forefront of the struggle against budget cuts; they helped build International Workers and Students for Justice, a group of campus workers, off campus workers, and students. Rank and file teaching assistants in the UAW have also been key organizers of this strike through their organization For a Democratic University. While workers are not necessarily striking at this time many will be coming to the student picket lines after work or will use vacation time to attend. We are building the necessary rank and file organizations to prepare for future actions.
This action overall is called by the UW Student - Worker Coalition, an alliance of undergrad, worker, and grad student organizations that has come together to fight the cuts.