The school year is just beginning, but as graduate teaching and research assistants, we haven’t stopped working hard for the University—in fact, many of us took home a reduced paycheck for the summer season, without any reduction in our workload. As the new semester begins, SUGSE needs to take stock of the progress we’ve made and put our heads together on how to win a strong contract.
Last year, after a strong majority of us voted to form a union in November, we elected a bargaining committee of our fellow grads to represent us in negotiations with Brown (read the opening statement for further details about our bargaining platform here). They’ve been hard at work this summer, arguing that we deserve a living wage, more comprehensive healthcare, better parent services, visa support, and a grievance process we control ourselves—so that we can truly take on discrimination and harassment. In our last session, the University responded to our proposals for anti-discrimination protections and a grievance procedure. They want grads to exclusively use existing Title IX and Title VI procedures to address issues of workplace harassment, cutting out our union in the process. It’s clear we will all need to stand together throughout these negotiations so that our voices are heard.
The first SUGSE General Members Meeting of the semester will be on September 9th, 6:00–7:15 PM, at Kassar Foxboro Auditorium, 151 Thayer Street. This meeting is a space where members will collectively decide how to move forward to get the strongest contract possible. Will you join me for the meeting? RSVP here.
Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting!
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology