Subject: UPDATE: Report from the Third Bargaining Session with Admin

Hello All, 

TLDR; Bargaining Committee (BC) met with WPI admin yesterday briefly to present the second set of proposals for our contract. Please RSVP to our hybrid town hall on 01/26 in HL218 at 5 PM if you have questions, concerns, or comments! 

Last week, we solidified a biweekly meeting schedule with the administration’s bargaining team. Our bargaining committee is committed to work as quickly as possible to win a strong contract that will improve the working conditions for all Graduate Workers (GWs). Administration agreed to meet with us yesterday (01/18) for an hour to discuss more proposals. At yesterday’s meeting, we presented our second set of proposals, including those related to:

Some of our union members have inquired as to why we haven’t presented any proposals related to the first few bullet points of our bargaining goals (i.e. Improve healthcare for all, Establish fair wages, etc.). As you saw on the bargaining survey, we have divided our proposals into two major categories: non-economic (working conditions and rights & protections) and economic (wages, benefits, and other financial resources). Our goal is to reach tentative agreements on non-economic proposals before we assess economic ones. It is pertinent to get those resolved first so that we don’t place ourselves in a position where we are trading rights and protections for money. 

WPI admin will review these initial proposals and bring back questions and counter-proposals. In addition to the proposals we are preparing for next week’s scheduled two-hour bargaining session, we are looking forward to responses from the university on some of the proposals we’ve already brought to the table. Not only is this important for reaching tentative agreements, but this will additionally give us a sense of their willingness to address our concerns and improve our working conditions. 

As a reminder, the administration has agreed that one of last week’s proposals, Health & Safety, is incredibly important and they have urged graduate workers not to wait for a contract to address unsafe working conditions. If you have a health/safety concern for your lab or another on-campus space you utilize for your work, please fill out our short questionnaire so these issues can be addressed ASAP.

We’re striving to keep members updated on our progress with bargaining, and you will continue to hear back from us after each session. We’ll be holding a hybrid town hall on Thursday, January 26th in Higgins Labs 218 from 5 to 7 PM (please RSVP) for everyone to stay informed and continue to have your individual voices heard. Please email us if you have any questions or concerns about bargaining; we’d love to hear from you!

In solidarity,

Your WPI-GWU Bargaining Committee

Jake Scarponi, Andrew McReynolds, Sabine Hahn, Gabriela Rovi & Abhinav Gandhi