Why Join a Union?
GAGE is a democratic organization built on the idea that we, as graduate workers at Georgetown University, deserve the opportunity to bargain for a better contract for all our members, together.
“Things are going pretty well for me,” admitted a graduate worker in the History Department, “but I worry about my colleagues who have different needs.”
health care for adults
Foregoing dental cleanings for years at a time. Paying over $6,000 for ankle surgery. Spending hundreds of dollars annually for contacts and glasses. Requesting a short-term leave of absence for illness or disability, only to be told that taking leave will cost you your salary and your health insurance. Seeking group mental health therapy at CAPS (Counseling and Psychiatric Services) only to realize that the group includes undergraduate students whom you are currently teaching.
international worker support
“As an international graduate worker, there was a ton to figure out, from American taxes, to housing policies, to transportation (As a Canadian, I can handle the winters). But scariest of all is navigating the American health care system!” reported Megan, a graduate employee in the humanities.
“We are expected to be on campus the week before classes start, but do not get our first paycheck until the third week of September. That is a tall order when we face moving costs, living expenses, rent payments, security deposits and many other costs associated with settling into a new place.”
For graduate workers like Tim and Valeria in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, progress on their scholarly work was nearly impossible. They were required to work as instructor of record for two classes per semester, double the amount of teaching that other departments required.
diversity & inclusion
“Listen, talking about how diverse and welcoming Georgetown is? That’s cheap and easy. Actually listening to people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, disabled people, women, international student-workers, and other marginalized groups? That’s a start.
Recently, a graduate worker in biochemistry explained that he pays 105% of his salary to cover childcare for his two young children. He noted, “If it weren’t for years of savings and my wife working, there’s no way I -- or any parent -- could pursue a graduate degree at Georgetown.”