As we continue to speak with graduate workers across campus it has come to our collective attention that returning grad workers are experiencing a "freeze" in their stipend and hourly wage, meaning that the dollar amount is the same as it was in Fall 2018. Some grad workers have been told by their department that this “freeze” is due to our ongoing negotiations with GU. This overlooks the fact that GU could have come to us at any point in the bargaining process, because we know important regular cost of living increases are to graduate workers.
As graduate workers at GU, we have traditionally seen an increase to our stipends and hourly wages each academic year, but this was never a guarantee. Many of us were here in spring 2016, when the administration tried to increase our hours for Phd workers from 15 to 20 hours a week without proportional increase in pay, and without our consent. It has been attacks like these that brought student workers together to vote overwhelmingly for a union.
Our award letters are not and have never been legally binding. GU has always had the power to freeze or lower our stipends without our input or even notifying us. Without a fair contract that legally compels GU to bargain with graduate workers over our working conditions, this unjust status quo will remain.
As we enter the Fall 2019 semester, we want to hear from you. Please answer this short survey about your wage history to help us call for transparency about our stipends and hourly wages. We need everyone's voice to be heard if we want a fair contract that addresses our needs across campus.
Since we began bargaining in March, we are waiting on the administration to respond to 14 proposals, and to engage us on economic proposals. We need to show the administration that we are not okay with these kinds of on-a-whim decisions and to compel them to come to the table ready to bargain over our working conditions. We need all hands on deck! There are lots of ways to get involved:
If you are not already, become a member! It's the best way to build our democratic power across campus.
Attend bargaining sessions in support of the elected Bargaining Committee and their proposals. We will let you know when the next dates are set!
Sign the platform pledge to help show our power across campus and to make sure we get a fair contract that aligns with Georgetown's values of Cura Personalis. We want a contract for the whole person.
The GAGE Organizing Committee
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