March 8 bargaining update

MIT’s bargaining team met with the GSU’s bargaining team for a 14th time on Wednesday, March 8. As with all other bargaining sessions to date, the discussions at the table were collegial and productive.

A majority of the session focused on providing the GSU with an understanding of MIT’s finances, following the GSU’s presentation of its economic proposals. MIT’s Executive Vice President and Treasurer Glen Shor led a detailed presentation on the complex restrictions and obligations that constrain MIT’s annual budget. EVPT Shor’s presentation underscored the essential principle that a robust pursuit of education and research by the MIT community today must not compromise that same pursuit by future generations of students, staff, and faculty.

The presentation included:

  • Where MIT’s operating revenue comes from, including support from investments and gifts, sponsored support, and net tuition – and the constraints on spending those revenues;
  • How MIT spends its central, unrestricted budget in support of MIT’s mission while under significant pressure to meet demands from across the Institute in a volatile macro-economic environment; and
  • How MIT makes decisions to formulate the annual budget and manage its resources.

Following the discussion of MIT’s finances, the GSU reasserted its demand for a union shop (an arrangement in which all students of the bargaining unit are required to pay dues/agency fees to the union in order to hold RA or TA appointments). The MIT bargaining team remains guided by principles that include ensuring that all students have the flexibility to make their own choices, allowing them to avoid unnecessary mandates, such as union membership.  This is especially important given concerns some students have raised about the union’s policies.

MIT and the GSU also reached an agreement in principle on an article in the contract about bargaining unit information. This article requires MIT to provide certain employee information to the GSU in a manner consistent with FERPA and other data privacy policies and requirements.

MIT is carefully reviewing the 33 new economic proposals shared at the last bargaining session by the GSU, as well as both the economic and remaining non-economic proposals put forth in previous sessions over the past seven months.