Our Bargaining Committee met with the administration for two and a half hours yesterday to formally begin the process of negotiating a contract that reflects our contributions to Georgetown. Joined by graduate employees from across the university, we read our opening statement that communicated our shared desire for a contract that promotes our health and security, for a contract that empowers us to build vibrant intellectual communities through scholarship and service, for a contract that addresses the whole person.
Our meeting with the administration represents a milestone for our union and our community. Over the past three years, we have seen repeatedly what we can achieve when we organize and work together to advance our interests. Our organizing persuaded Congress in November 2017 to reconsider its plans to tax the tuition waivers that allow many of us to pursue a graduate degree. Our organizing convinced the administration in March 2018 to sign a historic agreement to hold a union election under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). And our organizing carried us to victory last November, when 83.7% of participating graduate employees voted “GAGE Yes”! Organizing works.
As the committee indicated in their opening statement today, our bargaining platform will be A Contract for the Whole Person. Cura personalis, or “care of the person,” is one of Georgetown’s nine core values. A contract for the whole person will insist upon transparency, emphasizing material issues pertaining to health and remuneration as a means of securing greater inclusion, vitality, and equity. Under our contract, we will THRIVE.
Our Plan to Win
We know that if we want to achieve a contract that lives up to these values and addresses our needs, we need the support of graduate employees like you. The first thing that you can do is sign our pledge to support our union and our elected bargaining committee as we work together to deliver a contract for the whole person.
You can also be a part of our campaign for a just contract, we have a few other ways that you can step up and get involved:
Once you sign our Pledge, you can share the news and encourage others to join you on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). We’re asking members to use the hashtag #ContractPersonalis.
You can join our Communications Team if you’re interested in shaping our message and connecting with other like-minded organizations at Georgetown or around Washington, DC.
You can support the Bargaining Committee directly by joining a Contract Working Group and delving into critical topics like wages, healthcare, working conditions, non-healthcare benefits, and international student issues.
If you want to get involved in our campaign for a contract for the whole person, you can email the Organizing Committee at GAGEorganizing@gmail.com. We’ll be hosting a number of listening sessions this semester in order to keep this process as democratic as possible, so keep your eyes peeled for future announcements both over email and social media.