Negotiations with Graduate Student Employee Union Making Progress

April 5, 2024

  • The University of Alaska’s (UA) Bargaining Team is wrapping up 3 days of in-person negotiations with the newly formed Alaska Graduate Workers Association (AGWA) today. UA is optimistic about reaching a mutually beneficial contract for all parties, but there are rumors that work disruptions may occur in the coming weeks.

    Why It Matters: UA is preparing for any potential disruptions to ensure the continuity of operations critical to our educational mission. These plans are crucial as we near the end of the semester and commencement activities. More and frequently updated information is available at

    Negotiations making progress: Negotiations began just over two months ago, but headway is being made, and discussions remain productive. First contracts take an average of more than 450 days to negotiate.

    • On March 29th, UA presented a detailed proposal addressing all of AGWA’s proposals. It’s a significant step forward in our collaborative efforts to reach a fair and equitable agreement and is the result of weeks of hard work by UA’s Bargaining Team.
    • Balancing the needs of our graduate students with the fiscal constraints of the University remains a priority.  

    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: Bookmark GSEU website to stay up-to-date on the status of negotiations. UA is optimistic about reaching a mutually beneficial contract and will continue to provide updates as negotiations progress. Our commitment to the academic success of all students remains steadfast

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