TLDR; Bargaining Committee (BC) met with WPI admin yesterday; we received several counter-proposals and presented some counter-proposals! The counter proposals presented by the University do not address the core concerns we wish to see fixed here at WPI nor respect our contribution to the university. We cannot accept a contract without acceptable protections and security!
Yesterday (02/15), your BC met with the administration for another bargaining session. We presented counter-proposals to admin proposals at the last bargaining session (click to see their language): Travel, Discipline & Dismissal, Health & Safety, Training, Employment File, Job Postings, Union Management Committee.
The University bargaining team presented a number of counter-proposals, rejected two of our proposals in total, and presented one new proposal (click to see their language): Non-Discrimination, Appointments, Appointment Security, Intellectual Property, Union Security, Workload, Workspace and Materials, Subcontracting (Rejected by administration), VCAP (Rejected by administration), Management Rights🆕
We are awaiting counters from admin on four more proposals: Union Access and Rights, Non-Resident and Non-Citizen Graduate Worker Rights and Protections, Grievance and Arbitration, and Titles and Classifications. We are continuing work on remaining responses and preparing economic proposals.
Rather than addressing our concerns, many of the admin’s changes in their counter-proposals continue to favor simplicity and avoid tackling our problems. They suggest sending issues to the Union Management Committee, but that committee has no power to bargain or win improvements; it can only recommend solutions, which can be ignored. This is not an acceptable solution to addressing our concerns! By offering little to no improvements, the university is trying to get us to accept lesser protections than other unionized graduate workers, negate our ability to enforce our contract, and avoid making positive fundamental changes to how the University operates.
Our next meeting with the University will be on February 22nd. We will stay hard at work to keep things moving, but it’s vital we all stand together and call on the admins: Don’t just write proposals, give us improvements! It’s important the administration hears from us to address our concerns, to hear the impact positive change in our contract would have on our lives, and to know that we are unwilling to leave these concerns unaddressed.
To help facilitate our negotiations, we will begin having monthly general meetings on 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