Bargaining Update 5/16/23

This week:

  • We shared stories from students to give insights of the financial challenges and fears GRs face on a daily basis

  • We countered OHSUs Article 8 (Stipends) proposal

  • We reached a TA regarding Internships in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Hello Graduate Researchers!

Thank you all so much for coming to our virtual bargaining session on Tuesday.

We started this week's bargaining session with our counter on Article 8 (Stipends). Before we shared our counter proposal though, we started by sharing stories and experiences we personally & other GRUs face on a daily basis. Our goal was to provide some insights into what we are facing everyday, while performing cutting-edge research. Bargaining team members shared their stories of food insecurity and inability to find adequate housing. These stories were clearly powerful, and the mood was somber after we spoke. At the end of this update are some quotes from statements we made to management.

In our counter proposal on wages, we moved slightly in OHSU’s direction in some areas to show good faith. We are now proposing $40,000 for the 2023-2024 academic year, $42,800 for the first full pay period after July 1, 2024, for the academic year 2024-2025, $44,940 for the first full payroll period after July 1, 2025, for academic year 2025-2026, instead of $40,000/$42,800/$45,796. Therefore, instead of a 7% increase in the 3rd year, we are now proposing a 5% increase.

Crucially, we are continuing to advocate that the delta, that is the difference between our stipend and what our PI’s grants cover, is paid for by OHSU instead of our PI’s. We see this as crucial to ensuring our job security and ensuring that research is not disrupted.

We also reached an MOU regarding internships. Over the last three years, we’ve heard repeatedly that our members have been incorrectly told that our contract forbids internships. OHSU considered internships an academic matter and wanted to keep it out of the contract so we reached a mutual understanding with OHSU that got us most of the way to what we wanted–language that makes it clear that internships are not related to our union, and spelling out a process for GR’s seeking to receive credit for internships and thus maintain their status as GRs. We’ll meet with management again next week.

Finally, keep your eyes open for a public event coming up in a few weeks, where you can meet the bargaining team and show your support for our #fightfor40.

You can furthermore show support by becoming a member if you are not currently one, and continuing to come to bargaining and union events! If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to [email protected].

In solidarity,

Adrian Baris, Raphael Kirchgäßner, JD Russo, and Austin Wright

“The rent in Portland is so high….I am a highly trained scientist and I can’t even qualify to apply for an apartment.” –Austin Wright

“I recently worked on a project where we had access to one of the fastest supercomputers in the world. But there were days where I’d log in and sit there unable to think clearly, because I couldn’t afford dinner the night before.” –JD Russo

“We get childcare support (diapers etc.) from the Doernbecher Children's hospital and they have to quiz us on our jobs and where the food insecurity is coming from. They are always surprised and I am embarrassed when I say that I work at OHSU as a student.” –Raphael Kirchgäßner

“We have no option for subsidized housing, unlike other schools.” –Adrian Baris