December 2022 updates
December 21, 2022
- Nine bargaining sessions have been held this semester, most of which were full-day sessions. MIT and the MIT GSU-UE have been working their way through over 100 non-economic provisions brought forth by the union.
- These provisions are organized into 22 contract articles that MIT and the MIT GSU-UE have been exchanging. We have reached a tentative agreement on several articles and are close to an agreement on many others.
- The union’s proposals, which would apply to bargaining unit members across all of MIT’s 109 graduate programs, are thoughtful and comprehensive. We have spent the most time discussing concerns raised by the union on our health and safety processes, resources for international students, and our processes for responding to sexual misconduct and harassment. MIT administrators and faculty who have expertise on these topics have attended bargaining sessions to listen to and consider the union’s proposals. We also have been exploring peer practices on these issues and providing data and information to union negotiators so we are working from a common set of facts.
- In the coming weeks, the union will present its economic proposals, which will include items such as stipends and benefits. Once we receive these proposals, we will work diligently with the union; with departments, labs, and programs; and with other stakeholders to reach an agreement.
- Multiple MIT information systems and appointments processes will need to be updated to better track appointment information and to ensure compliance with the final contract between MIT and the MIT GSU-UE.
- All graduate students, as well as administrators who use these systems, can expect to see changes and/or enhancements in the coming weeks and months.
Petition to add fellows
- The MIT GSU-UE filed a petition in September seeking to add students on fellowships to the existing bargaining unit. The NLRB held a hearing in late October on the issue.
- During the hearing, the MIT GSU-UE argued that all fellows are employees because they conduct thesis research, which advances MIT’s mission of creating “new knowledge,” and they receive pay from MIT.
- MIT and the union filed post-hearing briefs on November 10. Among other issues, MIT raised serious concerns about the union’s argument that all thesis research constitutes employment services, and the negative consequences that such equivalency would have, in particular, on international students. The NLRB will decide this issue, a process that may take several months. We encourage you to read this summary to learn more.