AU staff union reaches agreement with school after 5-day strike

American University’s staff union has reached an agreement with the school administration after a five-day strike during student welcome week.

SEIU Local 500, which represents about 550 clerical, technical and academic staff at the Northwest D.C. university, had launched a strike action on Monday morning citing low wages, health care and an abusive work environment.

“After 468 days at the bargaining table, we’ve made history because we have a contract,” the union tweeted late Friday. “Thank you to our supporters — colleagues, faculty, comrades, and especially our students — we couldn’t have done this without you.”

News of the agreement arrived after students walked out of AU President Sylvia M. Burwell’s freshman convocation to rally with staff outside Bender Arena and the president’s office.

“Throughout this process, we negotiated in good faith and worked to reach an agreement. Since these are tentative agreements, further details will be available in the coming days,” Burwell said in a statement.

“I know this has been a challenging week. I want to thank the members of our community who helped move in and welcome our students and their families.”

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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