Transforming Higher Education

Movement Milestones and Victories

We’re working to improve learning and teaching conditions and access to higher education, while standing up to end the trend toward a low-road, corporate-business model for education. More than 50,000 faculty and graduate workers are already united through SEIU Faculty Forward. Every day more educators, students and community members across the country are joining our fight to transform higher education. Here’s a look at what we’ve accomplished together so far.

Brandeis grad workers ratify first contract with administrators

Graduate students at Brandeis University today announced that they have ratified a  contract settlement with campus administrators – a three-year agreement that makes significant increases in compensation – up to 56% over the life of the contract – and gives graduate student workers access to the same professional development opportunities as faculty, academic freedom and workplace protections, and a voice in the decisions that affect their work.

The settlement is the first contract for graduate assistants at Brandeis, who voted overwhelmingly in May 2017 to form a union with SEIU Local 509. This is the first contract for graduate student workers at a private university since the 2015 NLRB decision that gave them the right to unionize. Brandeis graduate assistants also now have the first collective bargaining agreement at a private university in New England.

“Our teaching conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We want to be paid fairly for the jobs we do, and it’s important to be able to safely deal with conflicts in the workplace: both on behalf of our students and for ourselves,” said Kalee Hall, a graduate student in English at Brandeis. “We are committed to making Brandeis better, and the Administration is too. This contract shows how we can make Brandeis better by all working together and negotiating.”