Workers for the University of Washington hold pickets on Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses

The picket coordinator said IT and student affairs salaries are not keeping pace with inflation.

TACOMA, Wash. — Workers gathered at Commerce Plaza on the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus to hold an information strike.

The picket was part of a larger call for action by workers from all three campuses of the University of Washington in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, as well as Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center and Northwest Hospital.

Jesse Cooley, who coordinated today’s event in Tacoma, says current salaries for employees in departments like IT and student affairs are not keeping pace with inflation and the rising cost of living.

“We kept the University of Washington afloat during COVID. We deserve fair compensation for these efforts,” Cooley said. “We have people who live on Federal Way and have to commute to Seattle because … they can afford to live there.”

But it’s not just about the pay. Cooley also says campus security needs to be addressed because his office doesn’t have a way to effectively evacuate the building if necessary.

“If there’s an earthquake or a fire or… an active shooter incident today, people in my office wouldn’t know where to go to the rally because our rally point is in the middle of an active construction zone and has been for a year. ” he explained.

Cooley is now warning that the university must act quickly because while the current contract expires next June, there are hopes of having the next one ready by October.

“They’re sluggish,” Cooley said. “We deserve to be paid. We deserve secure jobs and we are presenting these information pickets to ensure our voices are heard.”

A University of Washington spokesman sent a statement to KING 5, which said, “We appreciate the hard work of our workforce and will continue to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair settlement.” Workers for the University of Washington hold pickets on Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses

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