TLDR: The University bargaining team presented a disappointing counter proposal to our economic package. They’ve proposed NO improvements to our healthcare coverage and a sub-living wage for all GWs. Our arguments at the table won’t move them; we need to keep applying pressure. We signed Tentative Agreements (TAs) on Grievance and Arbitration, Training, Workload, and Union Security.
Your Bargaining Committee met with the University bargaining team on Wednesday for the tenth bargaining session. More exciting tentative agreements this time: Grievance and Arbitration, Training, Workload, and Union Security. 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.
The University’s team brought four pages representing an unacceptable, incomplete economic package in response to our 15 detailed economic proposals. NO health insurance improvements; NO living wages for anyone in our Union; minimal sick leave and time off without the holidays that other employees at WPI are granted. When we asked for clarity on why their package was so lacking, the response to many of our questions came down to:
“Come to me with a reasonable counter.”
Does the University have reasons for rejecting so much of what we asked for, or are they simply pressuring us to accept as little as possible?
In addition to the four non-economic agreements, we presented various non-economic counters: Appointments, Job Postings, Subcontracting, Successorship, Management Rights, and No Strike No Lockout. Some of these are getting close, and we look forward to reaching more agreements soon. However, the University has not provided any counters on our initial proposals (over 2 months ago) for Non-Resident and Non-Citizen Graduate Worker Rights and Protections and Titles & Classifications.
We need the University to bring us reasonable, substantive counter proposals, and respect the proposals we bring to the table. Their presentation on economics suggests that their biggest goal is to pull us down as far as possible, which means that no matter how good our arguments are at the table, we won’t be able to win what we need without applying pressure away from the table. This is your call to action: if you want to secure better living conditions for you and your coworkers and create a better, more equitable WPI, join us in demanding the compensation we deserve as Graduate Workers at a highly esteemed technical institution. Look out for communications from your organizing committee, and join us as we plan public actions to demonstrate that WPI will give us what we need to survive.
Your WPI-GWU Bargaining Committee
Jake Scarponi, Andrew McReynolds, Sabine Hahn, Gabriela Rovi & Abhinav Gandhi