Open Article Proposals

Note: SA = Student Assistant

Compensation and Payroll


Minimum total compensation of $42,766 for PhD workers on 12-month appointments. Minimum hourly rate of $25 for graduate student workers and $20 for undergraduates. On-time pay. Guaranteed annual increases in pay rates. Side letter on summer stipends for PhD workers on 9-month appointments.


3-year agreement. 2% increase of the minimum total support for some schools for the first year of the contract, while over time bringing School of Social Work and Mailman to the same level of total compensation. 2% annual across-the-board increases in the two consecutive years. Side letter on hourly rate minimums going to $17 in the first year and $18 in the third year of the contract.

Fee and Tuition Waivers


Waives fees (except Student Activity Fee) for PhD SAs. Waives Health Service Fee and International Student Charge for masters SAs. Waives International Student Charge for undergrad SAs.


Not included in CU’s economic response.

Health Benefits


A fund of $250,000 to cover out of pocket expenses. Dental premiums covered for those PhD SAs who opt in at 30% in Year 1, 50% in Year 2, and 70% in Year 3. Inclusion of the Union in further considerations of health benefits.


A fund of $200,000 to cover out of pocket expenses in year 1, going to $225,000 in Year 2, and $250,000 in Year 3. Medical premiums waived for all PhD SAs and their dependents.

Non-discrimination and Harassment


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


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. Improves the EOAA appeals process in a side letter.



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


Excludes many casual and hourly employees from the contract.

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.

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.


  • Doubles the parental subsidy (from $2,000 to $4,000) keeping it at the level providing during the first year of the pandemic.
  • Expands access to Adoption Assistance and Foster Parenting program to all PhD workers.
  • Memorializes access to Back-Up Care Advantage program.
  • Stipulates consideration of scheduling requests arising from caretaking concerns.

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.

International Workers’ Rights and Protections

  • The University will host a presentation with an immigration attorney twice a year.
  • Establishes a right to perform duties remotely if stuck outside the US for reasons like administrative processing.
  • Establishes a right to be re-employed after a lapse in immigration status or work authorization.
  • Guarantees reasonable amount of paid time off to attend to visa and immigration proceedings of the employee or their spouse/children.
  • The University will work with the Union to assist an employee unable to enter the US.
  • Establishes the University’s commitment to timely complete all necessary documentation.
  • Ensures the Union’s participation on the University-wide International Student Leaders Committee.

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.

Leaves of Absence

  • Establishes a new sick leave of 2 paid weeks for salaried workers for their own serious illness or that of immediate family.
  • Secures access to parental accommodation of 12 paid weeks to all PhD workers.
  • Provides bereavement leave; reasserts all other rights under the law.

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.

Side Letter on COVID-19 Funding Extensions

  • Establishes in writing a commitment from the University to provide additional resources to doctoral students whose progress in research was interrupted by the pandemic across all schools.

You can also view our initial bargaining goals here.

GWC-UAW Bargaining Committee:

Contact us: