Bargaining positions

Harvard began contract renewal negotiations with HGSU-UAW in March 2021 and does so in good-faith, guided by its fundamental commitments as an academic institution. 

On August 31, 2021, the University delivered a comprehensive package proposal to the union that is responsive to many of the HGSU-UAW’s stated priorities and build off of the many already established practices and benefits that exist. Read the package proposal

Active negotiations

**Negotiations are active and ongoing. Current proposals to date.**

Economic proposals

An 8.5% increase in compensation over three years for salaried student workers. A 2.5% increase in year one effective upon ratification of the Agreement; with a 3% increase effective July 1, 2022 (FY23) and a 3% increase effective July 1, 2023 (FY24).

Raise the minimum hourly pay rate for non-salaried student workers. The University’s comprehensive package includes a proposal to raise the minimum hourly pay rate to $19 for non-salaried student workers; with an increase to $19.50 per hour on July 1, 2022, and to $20 on July 1 , 2023.

A 66% increase above the current contract’s senior teaching rate for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to $5,815 in the first year of the contract, to meet the union’s stated goal of parity with teaching fellows at other Harvard Schools. For the junior teaching rate, the proposed increase is 48% to 5,185 in the first year of the contract. Both teaching rates would increase in FY23 and FY24 in line with the University’s proposed 3% increases indicated above.

Read the proposal


$1.85 million increase in five benefits pools, to be allocated across the pools as the Union chooses.  A $600,000 increase in year one of the contract, which equates to a more than 63% increase to the current $950,000 total across the five pools (Dependent Health Care Premium Fund, Copay/Out-of-pocket Expense Fund, Dental Fund, Child Care Fund, Emergency Fund), plus an additional $600,000 increase in both the second and third years of the contract. By year three of the contract, the pools will increase to $2.75 million, nearly three times their current size. The amount of money that the University would commit to these pools over the life of the Agreement would be $6,450,000--- some $3.6 million more than under the present pool commitments.

Additional support for international students The University’s comprehensive proposal includes agreeing to HGSU-UAW’s proposal for an International Student Worker Assistance Fund in the amount of $30,000 for each year of the contract. International student workers may apply to this fund for reimbursement of immigration and legal expenses if the legal matter involves an immigration issue that directly affects the student worker’s ability to work at the University.

Expanded access to the benefits pools to include hourly workers. Effective January 1, 2022, hourly student workers who work a total of 455 hours in a designated six months of the academic year – July through December or January through June – will be eligible to access the pools during the following six-month period of the academic year.

Additional preventative dental plan with 75% of the premium covered by the University for salaried PhDs. For those who elect the comprehensive dental plan instead, they may take the value of the 75% of the premium for the preventative plan and apply those dollars to the premium payments for the comprehensive plan.

Read the proposal

Non-economic proposals

Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Abuse or Intimidation

HGSU-UAW has stated that at the top of their priorities is having the University agree to the creation of an independent arbitration process for discrimination and harassment cases. The University has policies and procedures in place to ensure that matters related to discrimination and harassment are dealt with appropriately, in compliance with the University’s policies and the law, and that we are doing all we can to protect all students, as well as every member of our community.

The University has proposed the opportunity to appeal certain discrimination cases to an independent arbitrator:

  • For cases involving alleged discrimination, or abusive or intimidating behavior, the student worker complainant or respondent may choose to either appeal through the University’s internal appeals process or file a grievance under Article 6 of the HGSU-UAW contract. If the student worker files a grievance, the union decides whether to take the grievance to arbitration, in accordance with the contract. If HGSU-UAW chooses not to bring the case to arbitration, the student worker may go back and appeal through the University’s internal process.
  • The basis for a grievance filed by a student worker is whether the investigator(s) or decision-maker(s) involved in the initial determination of a claim of discrimination had a conflict of interest or bias for or against either party that could have reasonably been seen as influencing the outcome of the claim to the detriment of the student worker.
  • Cases involving Title IX or other gender-based claims covered under the federal Title IX regulations may not be appealed through this arbitration process. Among other concerns, such an approach could violate federal regulations that require an equitable process available to all parties, including faculty, employees and students who are not members of the bargaining unit.

This proposal adds to the work currently underway by the Discrimination and Bullying Policy Steering Committee and Working Groups, which were convened earlier this year. These groups were agreed to in conjunction with the current HGSU-UAW contract and include representation from the union. We anticipate recommendations from these groups on University policy and procedures in the coming months.

Read the proposal

Other non-economic proposals

Current tentative agreements  

Tentative agreements on articles are reached when both parties have settled an article at the bargaining table. Articles that have been tenatitvely agreed to do not take effect until a complete contract has been agreed upon and ratified.

Current contract provisions that have not been reopened during these negotiations