URGENT UPDATE // TENTATIVE AGREEMENT AND RATIFICATION

EDIT: Our ratification date is WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7TH, AT 4PM! The Zoom link is the same.

GEO,

After nearly a year of struggling, negotiations, roadblocks, and setbacks, we’ve come to a tentative agreement with the university over a one-year extension on the Collective Bargaining Agreement!

Our bargaining ratification vote is THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8TH, AT 4PM. The Zoom link is here. Don’t miss out: this is important.

We’ve been able to secure a huge win for members: at a point in time the university told us repeatedly they would be unable to provide any increases or benefits during the pandemic, we kept fighting and have managed to walk away with some really substantive gains. We are excited to recommend this agreement for ratification.

Before we dive into the details, we have to first give immense credit and gratitude to the hard work of the members of GEO who work on campus right now. They have fought, organized, petitioned, and emailed University management over safety issues and parking costs. They helped convince the University that forcing GEO members to pay the expensive parking rates meant people would have to take the T, and that this would jeopardize millions of dollars of research and the health of University employees and their families. The fact is, a solid amount of this win comes from their efforts, and without them, we’d be walking away with a weaker deal.

The short version of the proposal is as follows:

  • The CBA will be extended (evergreened) to cover fiscal year 2020-2021.
  • The University will pay for the increased cost of health insurance for fiscal year 2020-2021, effectively freezing last year’s rates. This saves members a lot of money right now!
  • The University will work with us to properly utilize the Scholarly Support Fund in order to bolster the unit’s scholarly activities; since we can’t travel, the fund will go to cover other activities.
  • The University has committed to making parking free for graduate assistants who are required to be on-site for Fall. This program covers everyone approved to come to campus regularly.

This agreement is only for the short term. We will resume main-table bargaining on the week of March 1st, 2021. This gives us more time to organize our members, so we can continue to pressure the university for fair wages and better working conditions.

You can find the text of the tentative agreement here.

We will see all of you next Thursday afternoon, where we’ll discuss more details, answer questions, and ratify the proposed contract.

Best,
The Graduate Advocate

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