At today’s bargaining session, we reached tentative agreement on 22 articles of the contract, including an important new article that will require transparency from all departments and hiring units about their pay rates for hourly ASEs.
However, despite today being the date we mutually agreed to reach agreement on all non-economic issues, the University was not prepared to meet us on several important topics. The primary disputes we continue to have with University Administration on “non-economic” issues concern Articles 8 (Grievance Procedure), 19 (Non-Discrimination and Harassment), and 28 (Union Rights). Today we went item-by-item through our Non-Discrimination and Harassment proposal and asked University Admin to more fully explain why they were not agreeable to each.
Regarding our proposed language that would ensure ASEs are able to continue work free from harassment and with minimal disruption when they raise complaints of harassment, Admin said that they had no interest in anything in that section, and that they couldn’t include “every little thing” in the contract. Bargaining team members noted that some of the largest impediments to reporting harassment and discrimination in academia are that those targeted by it are very understandably worried about 1) the impact reporting may have on their ability to finish their degree, get good letters of recommendation, etc, and 2) the report not having any effect. We emphasized that members have regularly raised the need for clearer, stronger protections in this area and that it is perfectly reasonable to include in the contract (as has already been done with Postdocs in the University of California system).
Be on the lookout for more detailed information about our proposals on Non-Discrimination and Harassment very soon!