The Union proposes establishing the following minimum annual stipend/salary rates for all doctoral student employees: $48,000 for doctoral student employees at the College of Physicians and Surgeons; $47,800 for doctoral student employees at SEAS and GSAS in the natural sciences; and $43,500 for all other doctoral student employees. Student employees who are instructors of record and responsible for their own course or section (e.g. Preceptors, Teaching Fellows/Scholars, University Writing Instructors, and foreign language instructors) shall receive additional compensation of $8,000/semester. In addition, the proposal requires that student employees already compensated above the applicable minimum rate at the time the Agreement is signed shall have their pay increased by 8%. The proposal also requires that minimum annual pay rates increase annually by the greater of: 6%, two times the rate of inflation, or two times the rate of University apartment housing rent increases. In addition, student employees who receive individual awards below the minimums shall receive supplemental compensation from the University to meet the applicable minimum salary/stipend rates. The Union proposal sets the minimum pay rate for hourly student employees at $46/hour.
The University’s position is that each academic unit must determine the level and number of years of guaranteed support it provides to its doctoral students and that doctoral students are student employees, and therefore members of the bargaining unit, only when they are on appointment. Further, under the NLRB decision and the Framework Agreement, the University is obligated to bargain only over the salary component of total financial support to students. The University proposes that it will bargain on a permissive basis over the total support—salary and stipend—provided by each academic unit to doctoral students who hold an appointment during the first year of the contract and negotiate a minimum percentage increase of total support to doctoral students who hold an appointment during the second and third years of the contract. In addition, the University acknowledges that for doctoral students admitted with guaranteed years of support, it intends to have each academic unit provide the same minimum level of support during semesters when they do not hold an appointment as they would receive under the contract if they did hold an appointment. The minimum support level for each academic unit effective August 1, 2020, will be set forth in the contract once those figures are available. The minimum percentage increase from those levels for students who hold an appointment in the second and third years of the contract shall be 2%, effective August 1, 2021 and August 1, 2022.