Tentative Agreements


  • Establishes a clear timeline for notifications of funding and appointments and improves upon current practice that is inconsistent between programs and departments.
  • Outlines the content of appointment letters and other information to be provided prior to the start of an appointment.
  • Improves funding security for student workers to avoid last minute withdrawals of prior commitments.

Discipline and Discharge

  • Establishes just cause as a standard for discipline or discharge over job performance.
  • Preserves purview of the University over academic standing or dismissal of students.
  • Stipulates an opportunity to have a conference meeting prior to a job-related suspension or discharge.
  • Guarantees prompt notification of the student worker and the Union of disciplinary actions.
  • Creates an opportunity for more expedient resolution of grievances on this matter, especially for international student workers.

Employment Files

  • Stipulates a right to review, copy, and supplement confidential employment files.

Grievance and Arbitration

  • Establishes a 3-step grievance procedure for enforcing the contract with clear timelines for each step.
  • Guarantees access to neutral and legally binding arbitration for grievances not resolved directly with the University.
  • Warrants union representation at every step of the process.

Health and Safety 

  • Memorializes provision of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Provides protections against having to work in unsafe environments.
  • Increases student worker input on health and safety issues.
  • Guarantees protection against retaliation for reporting health and safety concerns.
  • Codifies University compliance with New York State Workers’ Compensation law.


  • Establishes a right to an alternate day off if a student worker has to work on a University holiday.
  • Establishes a provision for one personal day off per semester for salaried workers.

Intellectual Property and Research Integrity

  • Guarantees coverage under CU’s IP policies.
  • Establishes protection against retaliation for asserting IP or Research Misconduct rights.

Job Posting

  • Establishes that the University website can be used for posting positions not filled through department or advisor assignments.
  • The University will encourage units to post positions on the website and include necessary and legally required information.

Management and Academic Rights

  • Reasserts the University’s rights except as modified by the rest of the collective bargaining agreement.

Professional Development

  • The University will strongly encourage schools to allocate resources and provide opportunities for professional development.

Retirement Programs

  • Memorializes the current access to the University’s Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan.


  • Guarantees that the contract remains in effect even if a section is found to be unlawful.
  • Provides for sections that are found to be unlawful to be renegotiated.

Tax Assistance

  • Memorializes free access to the federal tax software for international student workers.
  • Provides for other methods ISSO can utilize to disseminate tax information.


  • Establishes that necessary trainings & orientations are considered part of the workload.
  • Provides increased worker input on content and delivery of trainings.


  • Establishes access to the University’s Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program(T/PRP).
  • Memorializes access to the University’s shuttle transportation.


  • Establishes a right to timely reimbursements, travel advances, direct funding, and travel insurance.

Union-Management Committee

  • Establishes a 10-member (5 from GWC-UAW and 5 from CU) joint committee that will meet each semester to discuss student worker issues during the contract.


  • Guarantees minimum of 10 vacation days to student workers on 12-month appointments and 8 vacation days to student workers employed in the unit for two consecutive semesters.

Workload and Work Quality

  • Establishes protection from being required to work more than an average of 20 hours per week.
  • Allows unreasonable workloads to be grieved if not resolved with the department chair.

Workspace and Materials

  • Guarantees access to workspace, facilities, equipment, materials, and internet access required to perform duties.
  • Establishes a right to timely reimbursement of pre-approved purchases for materials.
  • Provides a 30-day notice of any changes to a workplace.

Open Article Proposals

SA = Student Assistant

Appointment Guarantee


Additional year of appointments to address the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to all Doctoral student workers enrolled in their programs in 2020 calendar year.


Not included in CU’s economic response.



Increased subsidies. Proper access to childcare facilities. Increased flexibility in scheduling for SAs with caretaking responsibilities.


Not included in CU’s economic response.

Compensation and Payroll


Floor of $43.5k/year for doctoral SAs. Minimum rate of $46/hour for all hourly SAs. On-time pay. Annual increases in pay rates that account for rate of standard inflation/CU’s annual rent increase.


3-year agreement. No quantitative proposals for the first year of the contract. 2% annual across-the-board increases in the two consecutive years.

Fee and Tuition Waivers


Waived full tuition costs for PhD SAs and 50% of tuition costs for Masters SAs. Waived fees (e.g., International Services Charge, Student Activity Fee) for all SAs.


Not included in CU’s economic response.

Health Benefits


Enhancements to the current medical plan that would improve coverage for prescription drugs, emergency services, mental healthcare, and diagnostic testing. Improved dental and vision coverage. Timely, accessible, and appropriate delivery of on-campus health services.


All benefits are considered student benefits and excluded from collective bargaining. No movement regarding improvements to on-campus health services. No written counter.

International Workers’ Rights and Protections


Both parties agree that SAs unable to return to the U.S. due to immigration issues may perform duties outside of the U.S. In addition, we agree that a reasonable amount of time off should be provided to attend to immigration proceedings.


CU insists that certain provisions of this article are not subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure.

Leaves of Absence


Paid leaves for medical reasons, taking care of family, childcare, bereavement, civic duty. Regular pay, benefits, and appointments preserved for SAs on leave.


SAs to be governed by student leaves policies. Status quo of parental accommodation and unpaid personal leave of absence for Doctoral students. Reasonable number of days for sick leave.

No Strike/No Lockout


No written or verbal response.


No strikes or lockouts for the duration of the contract.

Non-discrimination and Harassment


Codifies definitions of forms of harassment and discriminatory conduct and expands to include bullying (power-based harassment). Makes those cases grievable and arbitrable with real recourse to lower the barriers to reporting, interim measures, and a fair process.


Memorializes CU EOAA policy and statutory regulations, which, for instance, do not account for bullying (power-based harassment) as harassment and discrimination. Side letter on bullying that establishes a Working Group and asserts retaliation for reporting corresponding concerns forbiden.

Past Practices


Practices not explicitly covered by the contract to continue unless altered by mutual consent.





Reflects certification decision of the NLRB and the Bargaining Framework Agreement.


Only recognizes fully-funded Doctoral SAs. All undergraduate, Masters, and casual/part-time SAs excluded from the contract.



The University will provide reasonable advance notice to the Union of plans to subcontract bargaining unit work.



Titles and Classification


Clear system of appointment titles depending on duties.


No substantial verbal response or written counter.

Union Access and Rights


Access to information about the unit, SAs offices, orientations, and facilities to conduct Union business.


Access to SAs’ offices, with the exception of restricted areas. Access to information about the bargaining unit limited by CU’s interpretation of FERPA.

Union Security


Union shop: Union dues or fair share fees as a condition of employment. Voluntary membership in the Union.


Open shop: Voluntary membership in the Union and dues contributions.

GWC-UAW Bargaining Committee:

Contact us: gwc.bargaining@gmail.com

Andrew Bishop, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Lilian Coie, Neurobiology and Behavior
Tristan du Puy, Sustainable Development
Steven Lazickas, School of International and Public Affairs
Joanna Lee, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Ludda Ludwig, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lauren Moseley, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Miles Richardson, Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies
Kinnari Shah, Earth and Environmental Engineering
Anna Waller, Theatre and Performance

Next Bargaining Dates:

  • Tuesday, January 12, 1:30-5:00 PM;
  • Thursday, January 14, 1:30-5:00 PM;
  • Thursday, January 21, 1:30-5:00 PM;
  • Thursday, January 28, 1:30-5:00 PM.

RSVP to our upcoming bargaining session(s)