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UMBC Position Statement on GA Collective Bargaining Bill '20

Analysis of risks of the bill on Graduate Assistants of UMBC

February 18, 2020 8:22 AM
Hello Graduate Assistants!

Following is an update on the Graduate Assistant Collective Bargaining Fairness Act (House Bill 214/Senate Bill 0658). 

This Act aims to provide collective bargaining rights to certain graduate assistants at certain public institutions of higher education. UMBC GSA and GAAC have analyzed and summarized the main points to illuminate the potential drawbacks for UMBC GAs, if it is passed.


1. After unionization, GAs would be considered university employees, which could subsequently lead to increases in healthcare premiums, additional fees and the loss of our FICA tax exemption (higher deductions from our paychecks).

2. Currently, the well-being of GAs is a priority of The Graduate School and our relationship has been functioning well through the Meet and Confer process. Jeopardizing this current relationship between the graduate student governing bodies and university administration may be a cause to worry.

Our observation and conclusion is that the proposed bill does not carry more benefits for GAs at UMBC in comparison to the risks it could incur. Therefore, we do not support the bill as it is proposed.

We encourage you to read through the bill HB214/SB0658 and UMBC GSA's overview of it to get a deeper understanding of this important legislature. We welcome any questions you have and are very interested in any feedback you have to offer. GAAC is here to represent the GA body as a whole, and the best way to have your voice heard is to reach out and connect with us!

Hope to hear from you soon,

The Graduate Student Advisory Council
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