TLDR: We tentatively agreed to FIVE proposals yesterday, including Non-Discrimination! The University’s bargaining team presented a new economic package that’s still disappointing. While we’re making progress towards a contract, there are still important issues that must be addressed before we can agree on an economic package.
The Bargaining Committee would like to extend our most heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to the WPI-GWU members graduating this semester! We would like to celebrate you next week on our union social media (IG, Twitter), and we will have (FREE) “union pride” buttons at commencement for your regalia! If you are interested in being included in our social media shout out, please fill out this google form by 05/09/2023 so we can coordinate with you. Again, CONGRATS!
Your Bargaining Committee met with the University bargaining team on Wednesday (05/03) for the twelfth bargaining session. Over the course of three off-the-record conversations with the University on Non-Discrimination, we are proud to announce we have reached a tentative agreement on that article! Furthermore, we reached tentative agreements on FOUR MORE proposals: Job Postings, Health & Safety, Discipline & Discharge, and Workspace & Materials! HUGE day! Each proposal we reach an agreement on brings us closer to achieving improved working conditions and a better WPI for all. Check out our webpage for the latest proposals and their current stages.
In a previous update, we highlighted that, during bargaining, we can lump multiple proposals together as a package deal. The University team returned to the table with a new economics package yesterday in which they accepted some of our packaged proposals, but countered on others. Their economic package proposal included the following:
- Food Security (Accepted)
- Tax Assistance (Accepted)
- Emergency Grant (Accepted)
- Housing (Accepted)
- Childcare (Countered)
- Health Benefits (Countered)
- Tuition and Fees (Countered)
- Compensation (Countered)
- Titles and Classifications (Countered)
- Paid Time off (Countered)
Even though the University accepted a few proposals in the package, we are not accepting the package. Although we made good progress this time, WPI has yet to address several important issues, and continues to express unwillingness to move on them. These positions include:
- NO substantive improvements on health insurance
- NO guaranteed raises during the fourth year of the contract.
- NO paid days off between Christmas Day and New Years, during which the university is officially closed and all other employees are given time off
- NO tuition waivers for MS students.
- NO additional leave for immigration appointments, gender affirmation care, or family care
- Need help paying for childcare? You can have what faculty and staff receive – which the University has yet to describe to us
And finally, where we’ve moved over 10% from our initial proposal on stipends – in addition to many other concessions – WPI has chosen to bump up their initial offer by 2%. NO living wage has appeared from their side of the table.
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.
Your WPI-GWU Bargaining Committee
Jake Scarponi, Andrew McReynolds, Sabine Hahn, Gabriela Rovi & Abhinav Gandhi