Although most teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) are in the COGS bargaining unit, there are some whose positions are not covered (Why?), particularly in the biomedical sciences. The University has pushed for exclusions from the bargaining unit in order to try and suppress the union’s power.
If you are not in the bargaining unit, you are not guaranteed a raise when we bargain for raises to our base pay in our contract. However, you are still covered by University policy like all graduate workers are. As a union, a big part of our work is ensuring that the University is not violating university policy and helping workers to organize their workplaces and file grievances when violations or other injustices do occur.
Additionally, we aim to serve as an organizing hub for graduate students. That means we know that the conditions we work under are unjust (including conditions that are allowed under university policy and our contract) and we are fighting for a better workplace, standard of living, and graduate education for all of us.
So if you are not in the bargaining unit because you are on fellowship or are a TA/RA which the UI has excluded from the bargaining unit, we encourage you to still become a member of COGS and organize!