Action Alert: HB25 in Florida House

The House Government Accountability Committee will hear HB 25 onTuesday, December 5, 2017, at 10:30 am. This bill—sponsored by Representative Scott Plakon—, if passed, would add an additional requirement to an employee union’s annual renewal with the Public Employees Relations Commission. That requirement is that each certified bargaining unit of a registered employee organization (UFF) must provide the number of eligible employees for union membership and the number of members who pay dues or do not pay dues. If that information is not presented then the certification for that bargaining unit is revoked.

If the certified bargaining unit dues paying membership is less than 50%, the unit is decertified and that bargaining unit must petition PERC for recertification as the exclusive bargaining representative within one month after the date on which the bargaining unit applied for renewal. Application for PERC recertification requires either voluntary recognition of the union by the employer or petition to PERC for recertification upon submission of call for union representation election cards from at least 30% of the full bargaining unit. If sufficient cards are submitted to PERC, then an election would be held to re-establish or decertify the union. Note: The application for recertification must occur within one month of the initial date of application for annual renewal.

If this sounds like déjà vu, it is. Rep. Plakon sponsored the same legislation during the 2017 Legislative Session!

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Next Department Rep Meeting is Nov 16

Our next department representative meeting will be on November 16 from 5-7pm at Oglesby Student Union Room 311B.

 If you are interested in becoming a department repthis would also be a fantastic meeting for you to attend.

For this meeting, we will discuss the contract bargaining process with our bargaining chair Clancy McGilligan. This is a complex process that is not only important to every Graduate Assistant (GA) on campus, but also has ramifications for incoming graduate students as well. The more help we have with this, the better it is for all the GAs at FSU. Last meeting, we discussed grievances and had a lot of productive conversation. We hope to get even more great discussion going on this time too.

If you are interested in becoming a new Department Representative and are curious about what that entails, it means that you will:
1) attend monthly training sessions (food is provided!)
2) represent your department to GAU and GAU to your department;
3) recruit and give orientation presentations for your department;
4) experience a rewarding feeling from representing the union and hero status for helping out your fellow graduate students.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/139938636653819/ and help us get a count to prepare how much food we need. Also, let us know on Facebook if you have any dietary restrictions.

2017-2018 Bargaining Process Summary

GAU met regularly with university representatives from June to August to negotiate a new contract. As part of negotiations, we argued for better pay and other benefits after discussing strategies to obtain the best possible contract. During bargaining sessions, we presented research on benefits at comparable educational institutions in and out of Florida. We ran quantitative analyses of university offers to determine their impact. We also carefully discussed each offer. In addition, while negotiations were ongoing, we distributed a press release to media organizations about our efforts. As a result, the following story ran on WFSU: http://news.wfsu.org/ .

We are pleased to report that, on Sep. 21 and 22, Graduate Assistants voted unanimously to approve the 2017-18 contract changes.

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2017-2018 Bargaining Updates: Session #5

We had a bargaining session on Thursday, August 3. Here is where we currently stand:

Stipends: FSU proposed a minimum stipend of $13,750 for 9-month GAs on a 0.5 FTE, and a 1.75% pay increase for all GAs already earning above the minimum. This is a slight increase from their previous offer of $13,500 and 1.5%.

GAU countered by asking for a minimum hourly rate of $18.46 during the academic year or Summer Session A. For an academic year appointment at 0.5 FTE, this is a minimum stipend of $14,400. For a Summer Session A appointment at 0.25 FTE, this is a minimum stipend of $3,600. For Summer Session B and Summer Session C, GAU asked for a minimum hourly rate that would translate to a minimum stipend of $3,600 for an appointment at 0.25 FTE.

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

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