TLDR: We countered and made concessions on some economic proposals by presenting them as package deals. The University bargaining team presented some counters as well; unfortunately, they reasserted their aggressive No Strike/No Lockout and Management Rights proposals. Next general membership meeting is Wednesday, May 3rd at 5PM in SL402–RSVP and help us strategize how to win a fair contract NOW!
Your Bargaining Committee met with the University bargaining team on Thursday for the eleventh bargaining session. We reached a tentative agreement on another proposal: Employee Assistance Program (EAP)! High-five! Each proposal we reach an agreement on brings us closer to achieving improved working conditions and a better WPI overall. Check out our webpage for the latest proposals and their current stages.
As you likely remember, the economics counter the university administration proposed a couple weeks ago was incomplete and insulting. In bargaining, you can lump multiple proposals together as a package deal. Essentially, this means we can make concessions in some proposal topics to ensure a better deal in others (“we’ll give up X if you give us Y”). By presenting them together, this gives us the flexibility to make changes again without being regressive if our package is rejected – because they’re a package deal. Regressive bargaining means one side changes their mind on something they previously agreed on and is considered bad faith bargaining by the National Labor Relations Board.
We countered some of those economic proposals this week by presenting two major packages: one for compensation and one for paid time-off. To bargain for a better Compensation article, we made some cuts to various other proposals including Retirement, Relocation, Food Security, Tax Assistance, Emergency Grant, Housing, and Child Care. We did a similar package deal with our Leaves, Holidays, and Vacation proposals.
Unfortunately, while your bargaining committee is trying their best to make progress towards a fair contract, the University’s team presented some counter-proposals (Non-Resident & Non-Citizen Rights & Protections, Recognition, Health & Safety, Workspace & Materials, Appointments, Job Posting, Parking & Transit, No Strike/No Lockout, and Management’s Rights) including ones that are problematic. Highlights in their counters include but aren’t limited to:
- No just-cause protections
- No ability to organize a protest (even on non-WPI-GWU related matters)
- Rejecting previously agreed upon language in multiple proposals
- No protections for pre-existing practices and no method to rectify problems that may not be initially covered by the agreement
- Rejecting necessary measures that protect nearly 60% of our community
Have concerns or thoughts you want to share? Want to know more and help your union strategize on how to move forward and secure a strong contract? Feel free to reach out, look out for communications from your organizing committee, and join us for our next general meeting on May 3rd at 5 PM in SL402 (RSVP here if you want to join via Zoom). Click here to add to your calendar
In solidarity,Your WPI-GWU Bargaining Committee
Jake Scarponi, Andrew McReynolds, Sabine Hahn, Gabriela Rovi & Abhinav Gandhi