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February 27, 2017 @ 9:00 am - February 28, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
The bargaining and grievance committee has recommended ratification of the Regents’ bargaining proposal (link). You will see that it is an outrageous offer: just wages are included, with a 1.1% increase to our base pay. ALL other benefits are CUT. It is reprehensible that the University is putting forward this contract proposal and defending it in bargaining. Among the benefits benefits that are cut (they were conveniently omitted from the University’s letter) are:
- all our leave (paid leave, sick leave, bereavement leave, holidays)
- hours of work (they could double your hours and keep your pay the same)
- our grievance procedure (no neutral third party would adjudicate disputes)
- their commitment to provide us with a safe workplace
- their commitment to promote human rights and end discrimination
The committee is forced into the position of recommending this rotten offer for ratification because the University and Regents have stalled bargaining, even refusing to meet and bargain in good faith, until Iowa law changed. They waited so they could gut our contract – which is what they did the instant they could. All this has forced the committee into the horrible position that this is the best offer we can legally demand of the Regents and the University.
The fight for our benefits is not over: the University is pushing cuts despite the letter about healthcare, tuition, and fees. We will continue to fight back despite the attack on our legal power. We must stay vigilant to ensure they honor their promises about our healthcare and our tuition and fees coverage as well.
The only way to beat back the University’s cuts is education: we need to tell everyone what is going on. At the meeting tomorrow we will have materials for you to take back to your departments to bring folks up to date. So spread the word! Now is the time to educate everyone on campus about the threat facing graduate workers.