Bargaining Session #5 Update| Bargaining Session #6 is Coming Up Tomorrow!

During the session, we expressed our unhappiness with bargaining delays and asked for significant increases in financial benefits. We presented evidence showing the following:

  1. FSU’s budget has increased for the current and upcoming years
  2. Increases in minimum GA stipends at FSU have lagged significantly behind those at comparable schools
  3. Some GAs are paid less for teaching the same class in Summer than in Fall or Spring terms.

Here are highlights of the session:

Article 25 (Discipline) – GAU proposal

  • We proposed a new article describing the discipline process.

Article 23 (Stipends) – GAU proposal

  • After discussions with FSU, we dropped our 3-year stepped increase and proposed the following stipend minimum, prorated by FTE and appointment period:
    • 2018-19: $17,000 for a 0.5 FTE academic-year appointment, with a minimum of $21.79 per hour.
  • GAU proposed a 3-year, competitive pay increase of whichever is greater:
    • 2018-19: 1.5% above the CPI or 3.5%
    • 2019-20: 1.5% above the CPI or 3.5%
    • 2020-21: 1.5% above the CPI or 3.5%.
  • GAU proposed that pay be consistent for teaching duties, regardless of appointment period (summer, fall or spring).

Article 23 (Stipends) – FSU counter

  • FSU countered with the following stipend minimum, prorated by FTE and appointment period:
    • 2018-19: $14,500 for a 0.5 FTE academic-year appointment, with a minimum of $18.59 per hour.
  • FSU proposed a 1-year, competitive pay increase of 0.5% for 2018-19.
  • FSU struck our consistent pay language.

Article 16 (Health Insurance) – FSU proposal

  • FSU countered our previous proposal with status quo language.

Article 16 (Health Insurance) – GAU counter

  • We came back to our previous proposal. We proposed that the University pay 100% of the student health insurance premium for any GA on at least a 0.25 FTE academic-year appointment. We also proposed the following:
    • The University provide dental insurance and pay 100% of the premium
    • The University provide vision insurance and pay 100% of the premium
    • The University offer dependent coverage for health, dental and vision insurance.

Article 12 (Fees and Waivers) – FSU proposal

  • FSU countered our previous proposal with status quo language.

Article 12 (Fees and Waivers) – GAU counter

  • We came back to our previous proposal. We proposed a full waiver of all tuition and fees, excluding fees relevant to student activities, such as the Athletics Fee. Under this proposal, Capital Improvement and other fees relevant to employment activities would be waived.

Article 10 (Leave) – GAU counter

  • We countered a FSU proposal by clarifying the definition of immediate family member to include domestic partner. We dropped our request for 5 days of paid leave per semester in the belief that this may reduce the paid leave available to some GAs.

Article 7 (Outside Employment) – GAU counter

  • We countered a FSU proposal by asking that restrictions on outside employment not apply to GAs with a total stipend less than 125% of the 0.5 FTE minimum.

Article 3 (Employment Performance Evaluation) – FSU counter

  • After talking with GAU, FSU proposed that GAs be given at least 30 days to address needed improvements. FSU also proposed that anonymous student comments not be used for evaluation purposes if these comments are not collected through the course evaluation process.

Our Next Session is Friday, June 8 from 2:00-5:00

It is located at 493 Stadium Drive in the HR Training Center. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend. All non-members can quickly and easily become new members (it takes less than 2 minutes). There is ample parking on-site.

Update on Dependent Coverage for GAs

GAU representatives are continuing to work toward restoring dependent coverage after the university unilaterally cut this benefit for the 2017-18 academic year.

GAU and FSU representatives formed a committee to solicit proposals for dependent coverage that met on December 15, 2017. FSU distributed an invitation to negotiate to healthcare providers on December 18, 2017, with proposals due January 23, 2018. Unfortunately, FSU reported on February 1 that it received no proposals.

GAU is talking with FSU about how to move forward. We are also discussing a proposal for contract changes that would require FSU to offer a dependent coverage option.

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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