2/25/20 We won! We have a contract!

Hello fellow scientists,

A lot has happened since the last newsletter! To get to the point, we have a contract! The outstanding articles were all agreed to by both bargaining teams today.

Prior to this mediation session, the bargaining team held a town hall on January 27th to discuss the previous survey results that informed minimum thresholds for economic benefits. If you missed the town hall, below is a link to access the powerpoint presentation. In the week following the town hall, significant progress was made on the economic package, culminating in a conceptual agreement and the cancellation of the boycott. The main points of the economic agreement were as follows:


  • School of Medicine: Immediate stipend increase to $33,000 upon contract ratification

    • 3% increases for the next three years on each July 1st, starting this year

  • School of Nursing and Public Health: Immediate stipend increase of $500

    • NIH level increases thereafter for the duration of the contract

Health Insurance:

  • Out-of-pocket maximum halved from $6,000 to $3,000

  • Other plan details remain the same

  • Dependents may now be enrolled on the student health insurance with a cost of ~$140 per dependent (previously dependents could not be added to insurance).

SOM Parental Leave Policy Codified and expanded to all schools:

  • All schools agree to offer 8 weeks of reduced expectations for new parents (by birth or adoption), during which time the member maintains continuous enrollment in 9 credits and continues to receive stipends and benefit coverage.

W-2 forms:

  • All graduate researchers will be issued W-2 forms, even those on NIH grants.

  • OHSU and GRU lawyers agree that no additional tax burden will apply as a result of this switch


Now that contract language is finalized, we have to ratify the contract. Ratification is when GRU membership (you) votes on the contract. Over 50% of the votes cast must be in favor in order to pass and have the contact go into effect. Only union members may vote on the contract. The sooner the contract is ratified, the sooner benefits and policies outlined in the contract will come into effect.

The bargaining team will be holding a town hall on the final contract on Thursday, March 5th at 5:30pm in RJH 4320. They will be reviewing the final contract language and answering any questions before the first ratification vote opportunity, which will immediately follow the Town Hall presentation. A publically available version of the contract will be available for you to read on your own time as well. Membership registration (to become an eligible voter) will also be available at the Town Hall and at the other ratification vote opportunities over the following week, so keep an eye on your email for these locations and times.

The bargaining and CAT teams are also planning a ratification party where we will count the votes on the contract and have snacks to celebrate! This will occur the week following the town hall.

WHAT happens after ratification?

The CAT team has been working on writing our GRU constitution. This document is decided on by union members and outlines how the union is run. OHSU management has no say in what we put in our constitution. This document will cover what kind of union leadership we have, how these leaders are elected, how stewards will be designated, dues amounts and more. Come to CAT meetings, at the new time, Tuesdays at 5pm in BRB 581 to give input into the union constitution.

To limit the amount of text in this newsletter, below is a link to answers for questions submitted to the bargaining team through the survey that had been distributed prior to the town hall. Not all questions submitted are relevant any longer to bargaining, so only relevant/popular questions have been answered.

Link to January Town Hall: 


Link to Q&A from survey:


In Science and Solidarity,