We hope you are having a lovely summer! We have been fighting for your contract since this spring, and we wanted to catch you up on our progress. So far, we have presented proposals that would guarantee additional protections against discrimination and harassment, provide additional support for parents and international graduate workers, encourage clarity and transparency regarding work appointments and class sizes, ensure additional benefits for grad workers across the board, and protect our union from NLRB interference. At present, we have reached Tentative Agreements (TA) on union recognition and union rights. No TA is final until our contract is ratified, but a TA marks a meaningful step toward the final contract. While fairly standard, these two proposals protect the functioning of our union and our ability to organize. We feel confident that so far, we have been able to find common ground in our negotiations.
On Tuesday, July 9th, we submitted proposals on wages and healthcare. With these proposals, we aim to establish fair pay for graduate workers at Brown. We have asked that the university raise our base pay and guarantee us annual raises. In addition, we included in our proposal language that would ensure that graduate workers receiving a stipend higher than the base do not see a reduction in their paychecks. Union contracts are about setting a floor, not a ceiling; they are about guaranteeing and ensuring that all workers get what they require. Furthermore, our healthcare proposal would ensure greater access to medical treatment while lowering out-of-pocket costs. We know that good healthcare, high stipends, and work protections are key components of a successful career.
Although we are working hard to put down proposals that reflect the variety of working conditions and experiences at Brown, we will not win a strong contract without member support. We are asking that you take to social media to @ us a reason that you need the union with the hashtag #OurWorkHasVALUE. Please email email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to get involved. We would love for you to work alongside us to win the contract we deserve.
Rithika and Kaitlyn
Bargaining Committee Co-Chairs