August 31 bargaining update

Bargaining teams from MIT and the GSU met on Thursday, August 31, and continued to make good progress toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA), including reaching tentative agreement on several provisions.

The GSU reduced its proposed stipend increase from 15.5% to 8.75% for the first year of the contract, with proposed increases in the second and third years equal to the local inflation rate plus 1%. While MIT appreciates this movement, its offer from last spring includes generous stipend increases following last year’s 8.66% increase and other economic and non-economic benefits; is highly competitive; and addresses cost of living concerns. Importantly, MIT’s offer is fair and sustainable for the Institute’s entire community.

MIT made a significant move on union security by proposing a “maintenance of membership” clause. The clause would require those who have elected, or later elect, to voluntarily join the GSU to maintain their dues-paying membership status for the duration of the contract (except for an opt-out window near the end of the contract). This would offer the union a significant measure of security, while still preserving each student’s choice to decide whether they want to join the union and pay dues.

The union offered a new harassment and discrimination complaint handling process. Their proposal outlines an approach that would start with MIT’s internal complaint handling process but would allow complainants to choose to initiate the union’s grievance and arbitration procedure after 60 days. Although it is promising to see GSU movement on this topic, MIT believes that this proposal is inconsistent with federal Title IX requirements and does not allow sufficient time to resolve complex or fact-intensive complaints.

A tentative agreement was reached on an Inclusive Work Environment article. MIT and the GSU are nearing tentative agreements on Medical Benefits and Childcare, the latter of which includes a $10,000 needs-based grant for eligible bargaining unit members with dependent children.

MIT is pleased that progress continues to be made and remains focused on finalizing a contract with the GSU as quickly as possible. We are optimistic that the parties will continue this momentum in our next bargaining session, scheduled for Friday, September 8.