FSU GAU

United Faculty of Florida - Florida State University - Graduate Assistants United (UFF-FSU-GAU) represents and advocates for the interests of its members and all GAs at Florida State University. GAU was founded in 2008 and is the only legally recognized collective bargaining agent for GAs at FSU; we seek to improve working conditions and defend the working rights of all GAs. GAU's first contract was ratified in the Fall of 2010, ensuring that all GAs across the FSU campus receive fair and equitable treatment as students and employees. Since this first contract was negotiated with the university administration,  we have increased the minimum stipend repeatedly, secured multiple across-the-board performance raises, increased the health insurance subsidy, secured Family Medical Leave for all GAs, and advocated for the rights of students, as individuals and as groups, through the grievance process.

The current goals of GAU are to meet and exceed the benefit levels enjoyed by graduate students at other universities with preeminent status. Specifically, we want to achieve 100% health insurance reimbursement subsidies and 100% tuition and fees payment for all eligible GAs.  By coming together, we can make improvements in our lives and do much more together than we can alone. Help us make FSU competitive with other universities in the state of Florida.  More members mean more leverage, which leads to better benefits.

Recent gains from the 2015-2016 bargaining session between GAU and FSU were extensive; it was a full book negotiation, which means that we looked at the entire Collective Bargaining Agreement and made changes to 20 items. You can read the full list of changes here. Some highlights:

  • increased the threshold below which departments cannot unfairly and arbitrarily bar GAs from outside employment, so long as it does not present a conflict of interest, to $7,750 per semester;
  • increased health insurance subsidies afforded to all GAs to keep up with the rising cost of premiums;
  • added stronger protections against overworking GAs beyond what their FTE allows;
  • and increased pay for all GAs, including a new minimum stipend of $12,000 for GAs on a 0.50 FTE appointment and a 3% raise for all GAs paid more than the minimum.

 

Please complete our Online Membership Form to join GAU today!

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Recent Updates

Feb 6 2016: Pre-Bargaining Caucus

We'll be hosting two pre-bargaining caucuses to inform our members of our plans for the 2016-2017 bargaining session, as well as to seek their input on our priorities during negotiations. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the bargaining process and to have your voice heard. Though your EC works diligently to ensure that we serve the interests of GAs from all across campus, it is with your input and participation that we can best meet that goal.

Our caucuses will meet in WMS 030, which is located on the ground floor of the Williams building and is best accessed from Jefferson St. Food will be provided. Both caucuses will start at 6:00 pm, one on Wednesday, February 17, and one on Thursday, February 18. For more information, please email us at chiefnegotiator@fsugau.org.

Feb 5 2016: More on Fee Waivers

Another bill, SB 1230, sponsored by Senator Maria Sachs, is set to be heard before the Higher Education Committee on Monday, February 8, at 4pm. This bill would waive all fees for GAs in Florida. We fully support this bill and hope that, should it succeed in the Senate, its stronger provisions will be adopted by the House.

Our presence and testimony were instrumental in educating the members of House of the need to support HB 1311 and we know we can do it again with SB 1230. We need your support! For more details and to RSVP, please see our Facebook event here. If you don't have Facebook and would like more information, please email us at info@fsugau.org.

Feb 4 2016: Health Insurance Committee Update

The Health Insurance Committee, which meets every spring to review our options for the next year's health insurance coverage and make recommendations to the President, has concluded its review for this year. Based on the information we received, we voted unanimously to approve a new, three-tier prescription plan, with co-pays of $20, $50, and $75, and an increase to our deductible from $600 to $700. This decision will mean a slightly lower increase in our premiums for next year, but it will also allow us to take a proactive step toward controlling our coverage in the future. We have incurred unprecedented health care claims over the previous year; without some action, we would likely see our premiums skyrocket for the same, or worse, coverage in the future.

More information will be made available at our spring General Membership Meeting, which has not yet been scheduled. If you would like more information in the meantime, please email us at info@fsugau.org.

Feb 1 2016: Fee Waiver Legislation Progress

Today, the Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee voted unanimously to pass HB 1311, introduced by Michelle Rewinkle Vasilinda, which would waive certain fees for GAs on at least a 0.25 FTE. The bill must now pass the Education Appropriations Subcomittee and the full Education Committee.

Read more about it, including some of the testimony provided by our members, here.

You can also watch video coverage of the meeting here. Our bill begins at ca. 12:22, Chris Segal is ca.14:40; Kerr Ballenger-Fazzone is ca.18:40, and Rachel McCleery is ca. 21:15.

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