UChicago GSU Voluntary Dues

Expectations


Dues are optional for all members, until a contract has been negotiated between GSU and our employer. Those who choose to pay dues are asked to maintain payment monthly as long as they are a graduate worker. This is a non-binding commitment to support our union, and members should feel comfortable pausing dues payment if an unexpected financial hardship arises. 


Amount


Members should contribute whatever amount they feel financially and personally comfortable with.

Suggested amounts:

  • $20/month - 0.75% of salary of $33,000/year

  • $40/month - 1.5% of salary (average union dues percent)

  • $60/month - 2.25% of salary


Governance


The Steering Committee will review dues income and propose a budget within 1 month of the initial dues drive. The budget proposed by the Steering Committee will then be presented at the next General Members Meeting and voted on by members. Any future modifications of the budget are then subject to the same process. 


Initial Priorities


The largest priority will be funding a paid staffer position. This may be full-time or part-time, depending on the amount of monthly dues we can fundraise. Responsibilities of this position would include database management, organizer training, assisting with campaign logistics, and issues/legal research.


Former UChicago graduate workers would be prioritized when hiring for this position. Compensation for a full-time staffer would be at the level of the minimum UChicago stipend, plus the USHIP premium cost. This works out to $3130.50/month for a full-time staffer. Staffer pay would remain tied to graduate worker stipends going forward.


Other priorities include:

  • Money for the hardship fund, which helps members experiencing financial hardship.

  • Money for the industrial action fund (effectively our strike fund)

  • Money for other GSU committee projects (e.g., MAC’s grad parent meals)

  • Money for general reserves, which can be spent in a variety of ways: printing costs, GSU merchandise, food at GSU events, operating expenses, etc.

  • Renting space for meetings, storage, and office use.

  • Hiring a lawyer when filing for a union election.

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