2017-2018 Bargaining Updates: Session #4: Thursday, July 20

The University and GAU presented counterproposals. Below is an update on Thursday’s bargaining session.

Thanks to the GAs who showed up — you helped show the University we are invested in our contracts.

Stipends: FSU proposed a minimum stipend of $13,500 for 9-month GAs on a 0.5 FTE, and a 1.5% pay increase for all GAs already earning above the minimum. This is a slight increase from their previous offer of $13,000 and 1%. GAU countered by asking for a minimum stipend of $7,250 per semester — defined as autumn, spring, and summers A, B, and C — and a 2.5% pay increase for GAs earning above the minimum.

We strongly believe GAs deserve better than the University’s offer. This is especially true given significant increases in GA stipends at other public Florida universities and a national inflation rate of roughly 2%.

Health Insurance: FSU proposed status quo language, which means a subsidy of $1,662 for GAs on a 0.5 FTE, and less for those on 0.25 FTE or mixed appointments. GAU countered by asking for $2,227 for domestic students and $2,243 for international students on student health insurance, regardless of FTE. This is 95% of the cost of the premium.

Since the cost of coverage is increasing and benefits such as dependent coverage have been cut for the upcoming year, we feel our subsidy should likewise increase.

Consultation: FSU rejected GAU’s proposal that the University president attend at least one bargaining session. They said there was no precedent or need for the president to do so. However, they accepted language that would require the president to meet with GAU representatives at least once in the fall or spring. GAU will strategize before responding. We may accept this proposal.

What Can You Do?

  • Attend the next bargaining session on Thursday, August 3, from 2-5 pm, at the FSU Training Center (493 Stadium Drive). More bodies in the room makes the University more likely to listen.
  • Email Dr. Judith Devine, Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate School, at jdevine@admin.fsu.edu or University President John Thrasher at president@fsu.edu and tell them why graduate assistants deserve a raise.

2017-2018 Bargaining Update

On our third bargaining session on June 30, the University presented counter-proposals.

Thank you to the large group of GAs who showed up to support the bargaining team and to prove to the University that we are deeply invested in our contracts.

Stipends: FSU proposed a minimum stipend of $13,000 for 9-month GAs on a 0.5 FTE, and a 1% pay increase for all GAs already earning above the minimum. GAU countered by asking for a minimum stipend of $7,500 per semester, defined as autumn, spring, summers A, B, and C. Taking into consideration the rising cost of our health insurance, the University’s proposal amounts to a pay cut for most GAs. We also maintain that our work should not be devalued based on the term in which we perform it.
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Protect Your Union

Your academic freedom, your stipend, and your health insurance are under threat.

If bills recently introduced* in the Florida Legislature pass, UFF-FSU-GAU faces imminent decertification. Legislators are deceptively claiming that those who don’t pay dues to a union are fundamentally opposed to that union. That deliberate misunderstanding of how things work now threatens your contract and the rights we have been building for nearly a decade.

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SB 1276 Hits the Senate

This is it! The chance we’ve been waiting for is finally here. The Senate Education Committee will consider the bill containing the partial fee waiver for which we’ve been fighting for years. It is essential that we make a strong show of support for this important piece of legislation.

At a minimum, we urge you to call the Senators listed in this post and tell them of your STRONG support for SB 1276. What will make an even bigger difference, though, is if we can PACK the room with supporters. Last year, we brought over 100 GAs to a single meeting. We can beat that number!

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Gearing Up For Bargaining

GAU is preparing to head back to the negotiation table with representatives for FSU’s Board of Trustees. Our first round of negotiations will be held on Friday, March 31. It is likely that all bargaining sessions will be held on Friday mornings through the end of the Spring semester.

Our co-chief negotiators are putting the finishing touches on our first round of proposals. The articles governing stipends and health insurance subsidies are opened automatically each year. We also have the option to open two additional articles, as does FSU. Any GAU member who wants more information about our proposals can contact Kim and Clancy at chiefnegotiator@fsugau.org. We are optimistic about our ability to make significant progress this year in strengthening our contract, in light of the gains made by other GAU chapters around the state.