UGSDW bargaining: March 9 bargaining update

Taylor Nunley, Staff Writer

On March 9, both Grinnell College’s and the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers’ (UGSDW) collective bargaining teams met to discuss the grievance procedure, arbitration, Just Cause, recognition and non-discrimination. The College also revisited implementing a third-party mediator in bargaining.

The session began with the College’s team voicing concerns that little progress was being made in reaching an agreed-upon contract. Frank Harty cited UGSDW’s lack of a comprehensive proposal and their insistence on including academic workers under the Just Cause provision.

UGSDW promised a comprehensive proposal by spring break, and said they would consider implementing a mediator.

UGSDW’s collective bargaining revisited the grievance procedure. Instead of the 10 days student workers have to begin the grievance procedure currently drafted in the contract, the UGSDW collective bar- gaining team proposed a longer period that would only concern grievances over wages.

The collective bargaining teams also discussed arbitration, a process where a worker requests an outside mediator to settle an unresolved grievance. The College brought up concerns with including an arbitration provision since the UGSDW collective bargaining team said they did not want to include a no-strike clause. UGSDW said including both the arbitration provision and the right to strike would satisfy situations where one or the other was necessary.

“We want the right to say ‘if you don’t resolve this grievance immediately we will strike,’” added Isaiah Gutman `23, member of the UGSDW bargaining team.

The two teams discussed revisions to the Just Cause process which both largely agreed upon.

UGSDW proposed two new provisions seeking to include high school student workers in the con- tract and allowing for student workers to use the grievance procedure in place of filing Title IX complaints for workplace incidents. The College expressed concerns over both proposals — they cited the definition of a student worker in the contract, which requires an individual to be enrolled as an undergraduate student at Grinnell at least part-time. They also brought up concerns with the College’s bargaining team being un- prepared to grieve incidents normal- ly brought to Title IX or VII.

Bargaining will resume on Thursday, March 16.

As student workers, all staff members of the S&B will be included in future collective bargaining. The S&B remains an independent newspaper and is committed to maintaining its integrity in reporting.