Worker Power, Edition #9
Student Workers Rally for Just Cause and Open Bargaining!
Last week, the College’s bargaining team made it clear that they have little interest in hearing what student workers have to say about their contract by banning a live audience at bargaining sessions. Student workers rallied Thursday to support academic workers—who the College is attempting to exclude from job protections — and to show the College’s bargaining team that we will continue to demand an open bargaining process!
At bargaining, we presented our proposal for a new grievance procedure. This proposal would establish a three-step process to resolve disputes over potential contractual violations brought forward by student workers. It would also create an arbitration panel made up of mutually-agreed upon Grinnell community members that would have the final say if the College and Union are unable to come to a satisfactory agreement over a raised grievance. We need a transparent, timely, and clearly-laid out procedure to resolve workplace disputes and issues!
We also revisited our proposal for Information to the Union. This proposal would provide us with information that is vital to our ability to represent student workers (including in disciplinary and firing processes), such as names, job titles, and workplaces of student workers. The College’s bargaining team has continued to claim that this information is protected by FERPA even though they provided the same information for six years for D-Hall workers. Further, several other academic student worker unions have come to agreements with employers that ensure this information is provided without mandating a FERPA opt-in waiver.
At our General Meeting on Nov. 19 at 4pm in the Harris Concert Hall, we’ll be talking about how we can continue to take action to demand we as student workers get what we deserve and discussing details for a wage proposal that reflects our worth and the work that we do to make this institution run!
The College refused to allow student workers to watch bargaining in-person, so we posted up outside the hallway in protest and placed signs inside the room.
Bargaining Positions: Grievance Procedure
- Student workers have 30 days after a violation of the contract to file a grievance. Repeat violations reset the clock.
- Student workers can raise a grievance with their supervisor before it is sent to HR.
- Three step process to address grievances before arbitration.
- The Union can appeal unjust decisions by HR to a third-party arbitration panel made up of faculty, staff, and/or community members. Arbitrators will be compensated with an honorarium up to $300.
- Student workers who miss work to participate in arbitration will be paid for lost wages by the College.
The College proposed:
- Student workers have 3 days to file a grievance.
- Student workers must file grievances with the Student Employment Office.
- Student workers have one step to address grievances before arbitration. The only way to appeal a decision is via arbitration.
- Either the Union or the College can request arbitration (meaning the College can force the union to pay for an expensive process without our agreement). The College’s proposal has no details on who could serve as an arbitrator and no limits on cost.
- “No student worker shall be paid for time spent participating in the arbitration process.”