In a vote on January 17, 2024, the Bargaining Committee approved the Interim Decision-Marking Guidelines to guide SGWU-UE decision-making. These guidelines are not organizational bylaws or a constitution. Rather, they serve as practical recommendations for how internal SGWU-UE decisions should be reached by SGWU-UE members.

Once our first contract is ratified by our membership, the membership will convene a Constitutional Committee to create a binding constitution for SGWU-UE.

A summary of the guidelines:

  • The highest decision making power of our union is the membership. Membership eligibility is defined in the guidelines and generally includes all graduate workers enrolled in a PhD or DMA program, as well as those enrolled in a JD or masters program who have worked in a RA, TA, CA, or equivalent position since the summer of the previous academic year.

  • The membership, through our Bargaining Committee (BC) elections last year, delegated decision-making authority on bargaining to elected Bargaining Committee Members representing all departments and schools in which graduate workers are employed.

  • The BC additionally is charged with decision-making authority on union logistics and operations that are in service of bargaining. The membership retains decision-making authority on all other matters. The BC may delegate the coordination of operations to committees of union members.

  • These guidelines codify our procedure for adopting general proposals, defined as any proposals not regarding contract negotiations (including language and economic terms), strike authorization, or contract ratification.

  • Any member or group of members may bring a petition of 400 or more member signatures in favor of a general proposal to be presented at the next General Membership Meeting (GMM), which shall be held at least quarterly. After the GMM, an online voting referendum on the general proposal shall be held and that proposal will be approved if a majority of the votes cast are in favor of adopting the proposal.

  • The BC will, in its capacity as our bargaining representative, present Bargaining Proposals to the membership at a GMM, which will also be subject to a referendum vote for approval. These will include, for example, ratification of non-economic and economic contract proposals, as well as the final approval of our labor contract with Stanford.