TLDR; BIG MOVES MADE. Your Bargaining Committee (BC) proposed ALL economic proposals this week which includes compensation, health insurance, and more!
We need RAISES. We need better HEALTH CARE. We need PAID TIME OFF. You know it; we know it; and admin certainly knows it. Thursday (03/23), your bargaining committee presented these FIFTEEN economic proposals: Compensation, Tuition & Fees, Health Benefits, Paid Leaves, Tax Assistance, Holidays, Vacation, Housing, Childcare, Professional Development, Parking & Transit, Retirement, Emergency Grant, Relocation, and Food Security.
BUT WAIT! We’ve been trying to settle non-economic issues first – are we trading rights for money? NO. We’ve made huge headway on our non-economic proposals and your BC is confident with the conversations we’ve been having with both admin and YOU ALL that we’ll continue to move forward. Our power comes from YOU ✊✊✊ and we’ve been WINNING TOGETHER. Here’s a handful of things we’ve already won in our non-economic proposals:
- NO loss of appointment/funding if your PI leaves
- Guaranteed office/desk space
- Pre-payment for approved travel expenses and reimbursement for meals
- Trainings can be requested at no cost and will be considered part of workload
- Mental health and social justice issues ARE Health & Safety issues
- Workplace and workspace evaluations for unsafe/unhealthy working conditions
- Advance notice for construction & maintenance in our places of work
- Protections from being required to work overtime and at unreasonable hours
- Centralized website for in-unit salary & hourly job postings accessible to all graduate students
- Appointment letters with job information 60 days in advance for salaried positions
In addition to presenting the economic package we all deserve and require, your BC has been working hard at the table to negotiate the strongest contract ASAP by proposing two more counters (Health & Safety and Workspace & Materials) and reaching two more tentative agreements (Travel and Appointment Security)!
Admin presented three counter-proposals (Discipline & Dismissal, Grievance & Arbitration, and Job Posting). We’ve been scheduling informal conversations with admin outside of bargaining sessions to try and resolve differences on certain proposals faster, because WPI Graduate Workers deserve better.
Our next bargaining session with the University will be on April 5th. On the same day, we will have our monthly general meeting (the first Wednesday of every month) in Salisbury Labs 402 at 5 PM where union members are welcome to come ask questions, bring suggestions, or discuss any other issues. Please email us if you have any additional questions or concerns about bargaining!
Your WPI-GWU Bargaining Committee
Jake Scarponi, Andrew McReynolds, Sabine Hahn, Gabriela Rovi & Abhinav Gandhi