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.

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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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.

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