Graduate Student Employee Union Negotiations Continue Making Progress

April 19, 2024

UA is conducting 3 days of scheduled, in-person negotiations with the newly formed Alaska Graduate Workers Association (AGWA) this week. Progress continues to be made, and UA is hopeful about reaching a mutually beneficial contract for all parties. More and frequently updated information is available at

Catch Up Quick: AGWA formed in November, and began negotiations with UA in January on a first contract. First contracts take, on average, over 450 days to complete. UA’s negotiations with AGWA started less than 90 days ago.

  • The parties are continuing to work through articles, and UA continues to be motivated to get to a mutually-beneficial contract. 
  • Balancing the needs of our graduate students with the fiscal constraints of the University remains a priority. 

Why It Matters: While UA hopes to reach an agreement with AGWA on an initial contract in time for potential inclusion in this year’s legislative budget, our bargaining team plans to continue negotiating in good faith until the parties have reached an agreement that is fair to all involved.

Managing a Potential Strike: While AGWA has voted to authorize a strike if necessary, this is just a normal part of the negotiation process, often used to apply pressure at the bargaining table.

  • A legal strike is not imminent, as several procedural steps—including impasse and mediation—have yet to be taken. However, contingency planning is underway to minimize potential disruptions to our students and employees, should they occur.
  • Faculty Guidance: Faculty members are advised to collaborate with their respective graduate school dean or director to minimize the impact on undergraduate education and research commitments.
  • Operational decisions made by faculty supervising graduate student employees should prioritize the continuity of critical teaching and research tasks.

The Bottom Line: Progress is continuing. Bookmark the GSEU website to stay up-to-date on the status of negotiations. 


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