Grad Workers Union Signs Tentative Agreement with Portland State University

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Signed Agreement a Major Step in Establishing New Union
Friday, March 2, 2018
PORTLAND, OR — Today, the Graduate Employees Union of Portland State University, AAUP-AFT (GEU), representing approximately 800 graduate assistants, signed a tentative agreement document with university administration officials.
The tentative agreement, upon ratification by GEU members and the university, will establish a first contract with the university and lead to GEU becoming chartered with the American Federation of Teachers–Oregon and American Association of University Professors–Oregon.
The new contract represents significant progress for graduate workers at Portland State University. Highlights include:
  • Mandatory fee subsidies starting at 45% in Fall 2018 and rising to 80% by Fall 2020
  • Cost-of-living raises tied to the regional consumer index
  • Minimum work hours for every graduate worker
  • Minimum monthly salary to increase from $355/month to $825/month by Fall 2020
  • Joint health insurance working group to address unmet healthcare needs
“This contract feels like a really important first step for the equity and support of graduate employees at PSU, and an acknowledgement of the value of the work we do at this university,” said Julia Dancis, a graduate assistant in the psychology department and member of the GEU bargaining team. “We recognize the places that we will have to continue to fight, and also celebrate the progress we’ve made.”
GEU is part of a growing wave of graduate workers joining together in union, as AFT-Oregon president David Rives explains:
“Graduate workers across the country are joining together in union to win better wages and job security. Unions are growing at our universities and schools because they’re more necessary than ever.” 
Members of the GEU Bargaining Team celebrate the Tentative Agreement signing