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Boston Graduate Workers Union


Bargaining Session 5: Summary

🎉  On October 10th, over 75 graduate student workers attended our fifth bargaining session for a strong contract 🎉 

Key takeaways from the session:

  • We introduced proposals on Appointments and Assignments, Payday, and Joint Labor Management Committee
  • Appointments and Assignments – We proposed an article that would ensure that we receive our appointments and assignments in a timely manner, and in a way where they are detailed enough for us to understand our responsibilities. In many departments we’ve had issues with receiving this information, often getting it right before the semester starts. In our proposal we are asking that appointments are received at least two months in advance, and assignments at least 60 days in advance. Appointments are related to your role (e.g., teaching fellow, research assistant, etc.), while assignments relate to the specific details of that appointment (e.g., serving as a teaching assistant in a specific course and section).
  • Payday – This proposal ensures that we get paid on time and weekly.
  • Joint Labor Management Committee – This proposal includes forming a committee between union members and management to discuss issues of relevance to both parties. This is not a space for negotiations, but would be used for formal problem solving outside of issues covered by the contract.
  • After introducing our proposals, the BU administration called for a caucus. They’ll often do this after we introduce proposals so that they can discuss them amongst themselves; however, on Tuesday they spent 45 minutes in caucus. We were eager to hear what their considerations were, but disappointed when they returned with only two clarifying questions. So far we have reached a tentative agreement on one out of the nine proposals we’ve shared – you can follow the progress with our bargaining tracker. BU has a responsibility to bargain with us in good faith and at a reasonable pace. If our sessions continue to be slow, we will take action.

What is next in our fight for a fair contract?

  1. Join our three-unit rally this Friday from 1:30 - 3pm in front of the GSU! We will be rallying with ResLife workers and adjunct faculty who also just ratified their platforms.
  2. RSVP if you are attending our next bargaining session on October 23rd from 1:30 to 4:30 PM ET. We will be introducing our proposals on Wages, Access Needs, and Public Health. This is a particularly important bargaining session that we’ll need everyone there for!
  3. Please consider submitting a testimonial about the issues you and your coworkers have to deal with. This can be a powerful weapon when the bosses pretend to not know a thing about what goes on at BU or why our current living and working conditions are unacceptable:

Image description: A flyer for a three-union ratification rally & celebration, bringing together BU grad workers, residence life workers, and adjunct faculty. Events included are an art build (10/18, 4 - 8pm, 44 Cummington Mall Room 301), a rally (10/20, 1:30 - 3pm, outside of GSU), and community outreach / flyering (10/20 from 3:30pm, outside of GSU).

Thanks for reading!

= Updates

🎉 = Victory

Do you or someone you know have any interest in helping to create & edit this newsletter? Getting involved is easy, with no commitment level required. Everyone is welcome; we’re happy to have all the help we can get! Just search for the #communications-team channel in the BUGWU slack. (Not on the BUGWU slack? Reach out to any union rep to join!)