TLDR: The bargaining committee met with WPI on Wednesday (6/28); it was their turn to show us an economic package. PRESSURE MADE THEM MOVE, BUT STILL NO LIVING WAGE, GUARANTEED RAISES, SAY IN HEALTH INSURANCE, OR CHILD CARE BENEFIT – OVERALL NO SECURITY. We know they can do better; the fact that they moved to where they are shows that. Sign on to tell admin we need these improvements and that a majority of grad workers demand a fair contract NOW. General meeting is postponed for now, but you can still RSVP for a Zoom link here.
The Bargaining Committee met with WPI administration on Wednesday (6/28); WPI brought another disappointing economics package to the table (check it out here). They handed us a few other proposals, we gave them two, and the following day they gave them right back with some changes; you can see all of the proposals here. While we’ve definitely had some monumental and kickass wins during negotiations and the standout at the last bargaining session clearly had an effect, WPI has not brought a fair economics package to the table. WPI’s proposals included:
- Salaried min of $37,500 for a 12 month appointment, but only if your PI can afford it for RAs
- No guarantee annual raises, tying these to what other WPI employees receive (which could be nothing)
- Hourly pay rates of at least $16 for non-research hourly GWs and at least $20 for hourly RAs
- No fee waivers, leaving the door wide open for new or greatly increased fees
- No guaranteed say in determining health insurance plans in the future
- WPI included language that we could bargain over the impacts if the plan gets worse or more expensive, but this is something we already have a legal right to
- No coverage of dental and vision premiums for salaried GWs
- No childcare subsidy or financial support for childcare costs
- No coverage of parking or transit costs for GWs
The bottom line is that WPI’s proposal offers you no financial security. This is unacceptable and we need to show WPI that a majority of graduate workers demand a fair contract now!
Sign onto our public petition to demand the administration stop dragging their feet on our most critical issues and respond to our reasonable demands for a fair union contract – we cannot wait any longer! With a majority of union members signed on, the bargaining committee can approach our next bargaining session ready to show WPI admin just how many grad workers are fed up and why we need a fair contract now as we put our next economic package in front of them. After all, we don’t think WPI wants to find out how truly indispensable we are.
Interested in joining the effort to help us win an amazing first contract? Have ideas for a kickass strategy? Fill out this short sign-up to help organize! Always feel free to reach out, and otherwise, look out for communications from organizers. The next general membership meeting is postponed for now, but you can still RSVP here for a Zoom link (also, feel free to use this Google calendar to see all our currently planned meetings at once).
Your WPI-GWU Bargaining Committee
Jake Scarponi, Andrew McReynolds, Sabine Hahn, Gabriela Rovi & Abhinav Gandhi