Happy April, everyone! The cherry blossoms are blooming, and GAGE is bargaining. It's also exactly one year since we signed our Election Agreement! It has been quite a year.
On Friday, the Bargaining Committee met with the administration for the second round of contract negotiations to discuss proposals for union recognition and the university’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive graduate community.
This is just the beginning! In the coming weeks, the Bargaining Committee will be negotiating a range of issues from transparency in hiring, to wages, to a more comprehensive health care plan. Our goal is to realize the vision of a Contract for the Whole Person that we articulated in our Opening Statement and our Bargaining Platform. Based on input from you, we are demanding more than the resources needed to meet the basic needs of everyday life, but the support, transparency, and inclusion that will enable us to thrive.
Your Bargaining Committee can’t do this alone. To win a Contract for the Whole Person, we need members like you to get involved and make your voices heard. The first thing you can do is to sign our Platform Pledge and share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) with the hashtag #ContractPersonalis.
Second, we encourage you to come and share your experiences and priorities as a graduate student worker with members of the Bargaining Committee at one of the town halls that we’ll be hosting over the next few weeks:
International Students on Wednesday, April 3, from 4.10 to 5 PM in ICC 207B.
Healthcare on Wednesday, April 10, from 4.10 to 5 PM in ICC 662.
Working Conditions on Wednesday, April 17, from 4.10 to 5 PM in ICC 118.
If you’re passionate about a particular issue or set of issues, you can also join a Contract Working Group (CWG) and work directly with the Bargaining Committee to craft the proposals that we will be presenting to the administration on issues like Healthcare, International Student Issues, and Working Conditions.
Working toward a more inclusive and equitable campus takes time and requires allies. Fortunately, there are existing groups and initiatives at Georgetown that graduate workers can support, like the Georgetown Solidarity Committee, the Hoya Hub, and the Students for GU272. The Students for GU272 has placed an initiative to establish a legacy fund for the descendants of the 272 enslaved men, women, and children Georgetown sold in 1838 on the ballot in the GUSA elections on Thursday, April 11. We know from our experience as graduate workers how important it is for people to have a voice in their community. If you know or are friends with any undergraduate students, you can encourage them to vote on the 11th.
Finally, you can support the Bargaining Committee by volunteering with our Communications Team (these emails don’t write themselves!) or becoming a Department Organizer (DO) and talking with your colleagues.
If you want to learn about getting involved in any way, big or small, email the Organizing Committee at GAGEorganizing@gmail.com. Bargaining a contract can take a long time and demand a tremendous amount of work, but we have seen what we can achieve when we come together and organize as a union and a community. Organizing works!