Dining Unit Members Reject College’s Final Offer
UGSDW members who work for Dining services voted overwhelmingly to reject Grinnell College’s final offer. The union and the college have been bargaining for months, and while the bargaining process has led to significant wins, including paid leave for student workers who are required to isolate under the college’s public health policy, discussions have now reached an impasse. The key issue that remains in dispute is wages. Union members have expressed significant need for a raise that reflects difficult economic circumstances, the real risk of working in-person during a pandemic, the ever-increasing cost of attending Grinnell, as well as the essential nature of dining work. In spite of these facts, and despite Grinnell’s continued claims that they can afford to give a raise of any size, the college refused the proposed raise to $11 an hour and also refused to offer any compromise. This can only be taken as a refusal to recognize the true value of student labor in Dining services.
Although union members have rejected the college’s final offer, the college will implement the policies outlined in that offer, including the paid leave policy. Dining hall workers will continue to organize for a fair wage and a fair contract.