Fees to Work
Exorbitant student fees are one of the biggest obstacles to GA financial security. Unlike other grad students, GAs are forced to maintain an arbitrary number of credit hours per semester in order to keep their jobs. Even when GAs are through with course work, their departments continue to force them to take 9 or 12 credits, placing an enormous financial burden on them in return for nothing these workers could not gain by taking only 2 credit hours (the minimum required to maintain graduate student status).
The only reason GAU has ever been able to determine for this policy is so that departments can artificially inflate the number of enrolled credit hours they report, which increases their funding. It's just one more way that FSU balances its budget by impoverishing GAs. Take a look at the drastic impact of fees on GA pay:
Our minimum and average stipends are paltry enough, but when these egregious fees-to-work are factored in, we fall below the poverty line. Of course, that's before we even factor in taxes. Because FSU charges us these fees separate from our pay, we have to pay tax on income that our employer immediately demands we give back to them.
FSU has set itself up as the 21st century company store, and we're just getting another day older and deeper in debt.
We've rallied, we've bargained, we've even audited the University to show them how easy it would be to alleviate our burden. FSU hasn't budged.
- We're putting most of our energy into legislative relief. By lobbying the Florida House and Senate, the Governor, and the SUS Board of Governors, we can make fee relief a part of state law.
- We're committed to easing the burden of fees, not just for us, but for all GAs in Florida.
- We will never let FSU forget that their success is the result of our hard work.
FSU might be fine exploiting its vulnerable GA workforce. It's up to us to show them we won't tolerate it anymore.