Johns Hopkins University, PhD union reach tentative agreement

The proposed three-year collective bargaining agreement, which includes enhanced pay and benefits, will now go to a ratification vote

Johns Hopkins University and the union representing PhD student employees at the university have reached agreement on a proposed three-year collective bargaining agreement covering a broad range of important topics, including minimum stipend levels, years of guaranteed funding, union and management rights, discipline, grievance and arbitration procedures, and health and safety provisions.

Since last May, bargaining committees from JHU and the union that represents the PhD students—Teachers and Researchers United – United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 197 (TRU-UE Local 197)—have been negotiating details of the CBA. After more than 40 bargaining sessions, a tentative agreement was reached on Friday night. The proposed CBA, which includes 29 articles, will now go to all PhD students represented by TRU-UE for a ratification vote.

The proposed CBA offers enhanced pay and benefits that raise the minimum stipend to $47,000 per year beginning this July. Stipend increases are more than 40% on average across the bargaining unit and more than 50% in some departments. The three-year agreement also includes guaranteed increases of more than 6% in the second year of the contract to $50,000, and then a 4% increase in the third year of the contract. Among other benefit enhancements, the proposed CBA also includes paid health benefits for children and some spouses, up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, increased vacation and sick time, and a one-time $1,000 signing bonus for all bargaining unit members if the agreement is ratified.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement on the first contract between the university and TRU-UE Local 197 and appreciate the constructive and collaborative spirit union leaders brought to the negotiations as we sought common ground on a wide range of important issues," said Sabine Stanley, vice provost of graduate education and a member of the university's bargaining team. "If ratified, this agreement will strengthen PhD education at JHU."

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