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24 May

Tentative Agreement Reached!


 In brief:

  • The negotiating team has come to a tentative agreement for the new 2014-18 Graduate Assistant contract. GAU-AAUP TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS SUMMARY 2014-2018 for details of the proposed changes.
  • Join GAU on Tuesday, May 31st at 11AM for a informational meeting to discuss the changes to the new contract, ask questions, and eat donut cake.
  • You must VOTE for the contract on May 31 between 10AM and 4PM to approve or reject the proposed changesso the new contract can go into effect.
  • If you are no longer on campus, send us an email to by May 29th and we will make special arrangements so you are able to vote using a special ballot.
  • UPDATE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS on e-campus to ensure you receive your retroactive pay over the summer


The Details:

It is with great pride that I would like to announce that as of this afternoon, GAU has reached a tentative agreement for 2014-2018. Our new contract includes RAISES of 5-6% for 2015-16 and 3% for the following two years, retroactive pay for 2015-16, expanded parking waivers for part time graduate assistants, a clearer, more accurate grievance procedure, modernized language in regards to parental leave, validation of the right to external employment, stronger evaluation procedures, materials and resources to support teaching and research duties, and numerous other solutions that were reached outside of the contract to meet the needs of our members. See the attached PDF to read all of the proposed changes.

Retroactive Pay

If you approve this contract, you will receive RETROACTIVE PAY for 2015-16. This means over the summer, you will receive a check for the wages due to you given the raises we have agreed to. If you are a part time GA, you will receive half of the amount for your assistantship.

The stipend increases we have tentatively agreed to for 2015-16 are as follows:

Level 1: add $800 to 2014-15 stipend amount
Level 2: add $700 to 2014-15 stipend amount
Level 3: add $1000 to 2014-15 stipend amount

PLEASE UPDATE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS ON E-CAMPUS so you are able to receive your retroactive pay check over the summer!

The Most Important Part: RATIFICATION

We need you to vote on the changes to the contract so it can be officially put into place for the 2016-17 academic year. We will be holding a ratification meeting on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 11AM in the Memorial Union Ballroom where we will discuss the changes and answer any questions you may haveYou may vote on the contract any time between 10AM and 4PM in the Memorial Union Ballroom. 

If a majority of those who vote vote in favor, the contract is officially ratified and will be sent on to the Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education for final approval. Retroactive stipends will then be processed and sent to you by mail over the summer.

Absentee Ballots: If you are no longer on campus, you may arrange to vote via a special ballot. Please contact us at  to receive a special absentee ballot on May 31st.

In closing, I’d like to say that all of you have done an amazing job of building momentum and getting the best possible contract we could negotiate this time around. These changes will modernize our contract and set the stage for success in future negotiations. We have worked tirelessly for the last three years to get to where we are today, and our accomplishments in this round of negotiations speaks volumes about what we are able to accomplish by having an engaged, educated, tuned-in membership to help us to push further than we’ve ever done in GAU history.

Congratulations to all of you!
See you on May 31st.
–Danielle Dirocco
Chief Negotiator, GAU Executive Director

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Your Grad Assistant Union @ URI


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