PhD students vote to ratify three-year collective bargaining agreement

Gilman Hall reflection and university seal
Gilman Hall reflection and university seal
Johns Hopkins PhD students vote to ratify three-year collective bargaining agreement

The approved contract guarantees increased pay and benefits for represented students and ensures that JHU remains a leader in graduate education

Union-represented PhD students at Johns Hopkins University have voted in favor of ratifying a three-year collective bargaining agreement that guarantees them enhanced pay and benefits.

The 29 articles that make up the contract between the university and the union that represents PhD students-Teachers and Researchers United - United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 197 (TRU-UE Local 197)--address a broad range of important topics including minimum stipend levels, union rights, appointment duties, grievance and arbitration, training and professional development, professional rights, and health and safety provisions.

The contract offers enhanced pay and benefits that raise the minimum stipend to $47,000 per year beginning this July. Stipend increases are approximately 32% on average across the bargaining unit and more than 50% in some departments. The three-year agreement also includes guaranteed minimum stipend increases of more than 6% in the second year of the contract to $50,000, and then a 4% increase in the third year of the contract. Among other benefit enhancements, the contract also includes paid health benefits for children and some spouses, parental leave benefits, increased vacation and sick time, and a one-time $1,000 signing bonus for all bargaining unit members.

"We are confident this newly ratified contract will allow Hopkins PhD programs to offer highly competitive funding packages and continue building on our nearly 150-year-old tradition of recruiting some of brightest minds and most promising talent in the world to study here in Baltimore," JHU President Ron Daniels and Provost Ray Jayawardhana wrote in a message to faculty. This moment marks just some of our first steps towards meeting the ambitious vision for the future of graduate education laid out in the university’s Ten for One strategic plan, and with PhD education as a major focus of the institution’s philanthropic efforts, more exciting developments lay ahead.

"We extend our gratitude to the faculty members and the student workers who participated in this process, and who helped us reach this important milestone."

The ratified agreement is the product of more than 40 bargaining sessions between university and union representatives. Terms of the proposed agreement were reached on March 29.