Important: GU's Wage "Freeze" & A Fair Contract

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.

In Solidarity,

The GAGE Organizing Committee

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Bargaining Update #8: Workplace Harassment and a fair Grievance Procedure

Bargaining Update

We hope you saw our previous update about our bargaining session on June 11. During our July 12th bargaining session the GAGE bargaining team dove into a proposal to allow grad workers the option to utilize a transparent and timely grievance procedure which includes the ability to handle harassment complaints that impact our working environments.

In our bargaining survey last spring, 1 in 5 grad workers reported that they had experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Less than half of respondents said that they had reported the incidents and only 44 percent of those who reported it felt the university had responded appropriately. This problem is especially acute in the natural sciences, where 80 percent of graduate workers who experienced discrimination or harassment did not feel comfortable reporting it based on current practices the university has in place. That is why we are fighting for a fair grievance procedure for GAGE members, where members can work with their union representative to ensure that their rights are respected.

You can support our fight for a fair contract by becoming a GAGE member today and signing onto our pledge for a fair contract so we can all T.H.R.I.V.E during our time at Georgetown.

Since we started bargaining with the administration in March, our bargaining team has presented a total of twenty-four proposals for our contract. These proposals have addressed a range of critical issues that affect graduate workers across Georgetown, including access to space, tuition remission for graduate workers, and protections for undocumented graduate workers. After four months of negotiations,the administration has yet to respond to thirteen proposals.

The administration is showing us that they don’t take the basic needs of graduate workers seriously. To secure a fair contract, we’ll have to speak up and work together. By signing onto our pledge for a Contract for the Whole Person we can show clearly that we T.H.R.I.V.E during our time at Georgetown.

Share Your Experience

We need to make our voices heard - and we will. We're in this together. When you sign up to share your story, your department organizers and bargaining team members will work with you to help you prepare for speaking to administrators. One of the most powerful tools we have are our personal stories. It may be about struggling to pay rent, experiencing harassment, scrimping to cover surprise medical bills, or any number of issues that affect your work as a graduate worker at Georgetown. By sharing your story, you will show the Administration just how much we need a fair contract and that we are willing to fight for one.

The administration thinks that, by dragging out negotiations, they can stop us from achieving a contract that addresses our needs as human beings, a contract that allows us to thrive during what is often a pivotal period of our lives. We know that our solidarity as a union and community gives us strength. We’ve seen it time and time again. It’s time once more to remind them of our strength. Let’s go.

In Solidarity,

Your GAGE Bargaining and Organizing Committees

Bargaining Session #7: Grievance Procedures, Nondiscrimination and Workplace Protections

On Tuesday our bargaining committee met with the administration for our 7th session to negotiate over issues of transparency and inclusion--namely union rights, nondiscrimination policies, workplace protections, and grievance procedures. We packed the room with GAGE members to send a clear message to the administration: graduate workers across campus support a contract for the whole person!

Two of our members shared their experience with sexual harassment in the workplace and the improper and incomplete response of the administration. Georgetown must do better. Their powerful testimony was a reminder that current policies are failing graduate workers, and that we must band together to demand a safer workplace.

Sign our 'Pledge to T.H.R.I.V.E' today, which calls for a union contract that promotes health and security for all graduate workers!

We are collecting testimonials about your experiences as graduate workers at Georgetown to share with the administration during every bargaining session. If you would like to share your story regarding any part of your working conditions, please reach out! You can reply to this email address or reach out to a member of the organizing committee.

Please keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about our next bargaining session. Attending these negotiations is a great opportunity to get to see and hear how the administration thinks and speaks about the work you do, and to support the bargaining committee with your input and experiences. Sharing our experiences makes us stronger.

In solidarity,

GAGE Organizing Committee

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RSVP: End of Year Celebration and Member Meeting 4.30.19

Join fellow GAGE members in celebrating our wins and planning for the future!

This has been quite the year for Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees. We won our election 555-108 (83.7%) last November, and we've started to bargain with the administration for a Contract for the Whole Person.

Sign a pledge to support the platform here!


Now it's time to thrive! Join us at our Member Meeting on Tuesday, April 30 from 3:30 to 4:30pm in ICC, Room 662 3:30 to 4:30pm in ICC, Room 662 where we will be discussing what's happening in bargaining and our plans for the future. If you are not already a member, sign-up online or in person prior to the meeting.

A good union is a democratic union, but it's also a fun union! We will therefore be holding an End of Year Celebration from 4:30 to 6:30pm on the Car Barn Patio, also on Tuesday, April 30,complete with tasty food (including vegan and vegetarian options) and fun times with your fellow graduate workers immediately following the Member Meeting.

RSVP here so we have enough food for everyone!


We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.

In Solidarity,

GAGE Organizing Committee

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TOMORROW: Working Conditions Town Hall

We have some inspiring news to share! Yesterday, on-campus dining hall workers affiliated with the DC Chapter of Unite Here Local 23 concluded contract negotiations with their employers, Aramark and Georgetown. Their contract includes wage raises, healthcare improvements, and workplace protections--demonstrating the real power of organizing and collective bargaining. GAGE congratulates our fellow workers on a job well done!

In that spirit, we are hosting a Working Conditions Town Hall Tomorrow, April 17th from 4:10 to 5pm in ICC 118. This will be a safe space where you can speak openly and frankly about your working conditions as we bargain over things that impact each of us. We are hoping to get a better sense of issues of workplace safety, fair treatment, and transparency that affect graduate workers.

Finally, please mark your calendars for our End of Year Member Meeting & Celebration, which will take place on Tuesday afternoon, April 30th on the Car Barn Patio. This is an opportunity for GAGE members to come together over food and drink to discuss the progress we have made and our plans for the future.

If you have not already, please sign our pledge in support of GAGE’s bargaining platform. We believe that by organizing, all Georgetown graduate workers can THRIVE.

In solidarity,

GAGE Organizing Committee