October 2019 Newsletter

CGW Introduction
We Choose to Organize!

The university continues to actively block CGW’s constitutional right to organize. We, CGW, are and always will be focused on fighting for fair and humane working and living conditions for the graduate employees of the University of Missouri. Our mission started in 2015 and continues to this day.

Our Story:

  • In August of 2015, the university decided to discontinue health insurance subsidies. They informed graduate students via email 12 hours before our coverage lapsed.
  • We organized rallies and walkouts in responses and made demands: some of which were achieved through our unified actions, such as maintaining healthcare subsidies and increasing the minimum stipend from $12,000 to $18,000 a year!
  • In April 2016, graduate employees voted overwhelmingly to unionize, in order to cement our gains and continue to fight for needed reforms such as full tuition waivers for all graduate workers and affordable childcare facilities for graduate employees.
  • When the university decided to ignore our constitutional rights as employees, CGW and Missouri NEA took them to court and won recognition as employees with the right to collectively bargain in 2018 in Boone County. The decision was upheld in the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals and finally the Supreme Court in 2019!

Major Issues
CGW won right to collectively bargain

On July 30, 2019, in a landmark decision, the Missouri Court of Appeals held that graduate student workers have a constitutional right to engage in collective bargaining with their employer, the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the decision on October 29, 2019 which effectively ends the university’s pursuit to deny us our constitutional rights as employees. We, the Coalition of Graduate Workers (“CGW”), filed the lawsuit in 2016, after the University repeatedly refused graduate worker requests to unionize. In June of 2018, the Boone County Court ruled in favor of the CGW and the University appealed. We are pleased with the decision of the Supreme Court. We should have a voice in the workplace just as other public employees. More information can be found here and here.

Rumors circulating but No cuts of graduate assistantships

As MU switches to a new budget model, the rumors that MU is planning to cut assistantships have been circulating. A university spokesperson said there are no plans to eliminate or reduce graduate student assistantships. Michael Vierling, a co-chair of the CGW said in an email that if any decisions similar to the rumors are made CGW would, of course, fight it in all forms available. Find the detailed news article here.

New budget model for MU

A new budget allocation model was announced rewarding individual schools, colleges and other units based on productivity.

  • For more information, find here
  • 45-page report guidelines of the new Resource Allocation Model

Upcoming Events
  • GA (General Assembly on Saturday, Nov 16th at 1 pm in 101 Swallow Hall. Please be present! We will nominate new officers.
  • GPC Halloween Party on Friday, Nov 1st at 7 pm in Heidelberg. We will go as union members and network and communicate with graduate students. Wear a CGW red T-shirt!
  • November Food Drive!

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