BU Graduate Workers Union

A union is a group of workers that come together to use their collective strength to make decisions about the conditions of their workplace.

Unions fight to maintain, protect and increase their number of rights and benefits through collective bargaining.

Your TAs, TFs, GWFs, GRAs & Graduate Instructors are all in a union! By joining in a union, we are able to bargain and strike for better pay, benefits, and more.

  • Disability Accommodations: Currently, DAS requests can take up to several months to fulfill. We want expedited and standardized wait times, so disabled students and workers don’t have to struggle without proper accommodations.
  • Healthcare + Protections: Even though faculty and staff get dental and vision coverage, grad workers don’t! We also lack comprehensive abuse & harassment protections. Both of these would allow grad workers to do our jobs safely & securely.
  • Transit & Childcare Benefits: Currently, only faculty and staff receive the 50% MBTA monthly pass discounts. Transit access, travel reimbursement, and childcare benefits would let us spend less time traveling and more time working with our students!
  • Cost-of-Living Adjustments: 93% of BU grad workers are rent-burdened. Cost of living adjustments would allow grad workers to focus on teaching their students instead of hunting down apartments they can afford on a poverty wage.
  • Fair Compensation for Fair Workload: Class sizes vary wildly, making it hard for grad workers to predict their semester workload. Fairly compensated workloads would give grad workers transparency in their class assignments and expectations.


You can also find links to our:

  • Time wasting: They told us it would take three years to give everyone appointment letters defining their job. Or, when we asked for the right to post union-related flyers on campus, they told us to count and name every single bulletin board on campus that we would want to use.
  • Unserious Offers: They offered us a 3% wage increase over the status quo, and a total annual emergency fund of $50,000 to be shared among 3000+ grad workers. They also offered a funding pool of $50,000 to be split among our unit, when annual average childcare costs nationally are over $10,000 per child per year.
  • You can read our prose summaries of each bargaining session, and check out our spreadsheet compiling of every article proposed by both BUGWU and the administration

If it becomes necessary for us to strike, grad workers will stop teaching your courses or sections, stop grading, stop writing recommendation letters and so on. We will only communicate with our students about the strike, not about class. There will be picket lines on campus. We ask that you join us there in solidarity until we get what we need.

The university will try to turn us against each other. For instance, they are likely to tell you that the strike is ‘illegal’ or ‘unsanctioned.’  But there is nothing “illegal” about engaging in a work stoppage, and we have no contract to breach.


Or, they are likely to tell you that, by striking, we are harming you, the undergraduate students. In doing so, they will ask you for help in monitoring and punishing us for striking. They may email you sentiments like “We don’t want this strike to impede your academic progress,” “If you are feeling uncomfortable or uncertain about the strike, contact XYZ” or “Students can notify us about canceled classes so the university can ensure you are getting the education you deserve.” Remember, we are your teachers, the people you actually engage with at this university. Your learning conditions are our working conditions. When we fight for better working conditions, we fight to give you the education you deserve.

  • Refuse to answer questions that the university asks you about our work activity – whether or not we’ve held class or section, graded your work, etc.
  • Come to us first with any concerns and when the university asks you for information on us.  
  • Spread this information to fellow undergrads, grads, parents and other campus workers. Ask your other TAs to share this presentation. Look out for flyers, too!

Follow BUGWU Social Media:

  • Instagram: @gradworkersofbu
  • Twitter: @gradworkersofbu
  • This website!