Negotiation FAQ

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What is happening with the negotiations?

Since September 19, 2022, MIT has bargained in good faith with the GSU to reach an agreement on a first contract. While we have reached agreement on numerous terms related to both economic and non-economic issues (listed below), we remain far apart on several important issues. However, MIT remains committed to achieving a successful agreement.

Over the course of more than 20 bargaining sessions, MIT and the GSU-UE have found common ground on a number of provisions the union has sought, including:

  • Issuing detailed and standardized appointment letters.
  • Establishing an Institute website for posting open RA and TA positions.
  • Guaranteeing reappointment or funding if a TA/RA is canceled by MIT before the end of the appointment period.
  • Providing just cause protection for RAs and TAs in cases of discipline or discharge relating to employment.
  • Providing a grievance and arbitration procedure for most cases involving alleged violations of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Covering the cost of any training that MIT deems necessary for a student worker to fulfill work duties.
  • Implementing lab safety enhancements, including workplace safety evaluations and providing PPE and prescription safety glasses free of cost.
  • Providing resources to international students, including continuing a hotline for students facing urgent situations, maintaining a website with timely information, and covering the costs of express mailing documents.
  • Updating records within MIT’s control to reflect names and pronouns chosen by an employee to the extent permitted by law.
  • Providing online access to DEI training.
  • Expanded vacation benefit and sick time benefit.
  • Expansion of Parental Accommodation benefit for parents bonding with new children.
  • New leave benefit (with tuition and health care coverage) for an employee’s own medical condition or to care for a family member with a medical condition.

Where can I learn more about the progress of the collective bargaining agreement?

We will keep the MIT community updated on progress. You can also find relevant news and resources by visiting this website.

In collective bargaining negotiations, can MIT propose its own provisions or changes from the status quo?

Yes. Both MIT and the union representatives are free to propose any items or provisions for the contract, including changes from the status quo involving wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Employers and unions are required by federal law to bargain collectively over “wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.” Other issues of importance to many students — such as local housing costs and participation in Institute decision-making — are outside the scope of what is required to be negotiated.

How long do student union contract negotiations typically take?

Negotiating a contract, particularly a first contract, can take time. At most other private universities, more than a year has elapsed before a first contact is reached from the time the union was formally recognized or certified by the NLRB. Although the NLRB certified the GSU on April 19, 2022, MIT and the GSU did not begin negotiations until September 19, 2022.