United Faculty of Florida - Florida State University - Graduate Assistants United (UFF-FSU-GAU) represents and advocates for the interests of its members and all graduate assistants at Florida State University. GAU was founded in 2008 and is the only legally recognized collective bargaining agent for graduate assistants at FSU and seeks 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 twice, secured an across-the-board performance raise, 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 equals more leverage equals better benefits.

Please complete our Online Membership Form to join GAU today!

FSU works because we do!

This is What UFF-FSU-GAU Does for GAs at FSU!

We are very pleased to announce that the arbitrator ruled in our favor regarding FSU's payment of Health Insurance Subsidies. You can read her entire decision here (the decision starts on page 13 and the final ruling is on page 17). In sum, FSU's practice of "averaging FTEs" was not a well-known practice and furthermore, FSU "did not establish a long-standing past practice of using the 'averagesubsidy methodology' to calculate yearly subsidies when semester FTE appointments are different." She goes on to say that "Application of the “averaging subsidy methodology” produced incorrect yearly health insurance subsidies for at most 10% of FSU’s eligible GAs during the 2013-2014 year. These GAs all had different semester FTE appointments during that year. The amount due the Union President for the 2013-2014 year is $325. Similarly situated GAs would be owed the same amount for the same period. Because some GAs were not paid $325 of the subsidy salary supplements they earned, the University did not fully comply with Article 16.2 of the Agreement in during the 2013-201(4) year."

The final ruling states "To remedy the violation of Article 16.2 of the Agreement, the University shall pay to eligible GAs the balance of the 2013-2014 Article 16.2 health insurance subsidies that should have been disbursed to them in the 2014 spring semester. These subsidy disbursements shall be made as soon as is practicable, but not more than ninety days from the date of this Award."

Ratification, Social, Membership, and More!

We are very pleased to announce that the proposed changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement were ratified by a resounding “yes” vote. This would not have been possible without the help of all of your union members! We would like to give another special thanks to those that came out to support your bargaining team during negotiations and those that volunteered to staff the polls. Since the entire contract will be open for negotiations next year (not just stipends and health insurance), we anticipate going back to the bargaining table in early Spring. We will have more information on this soon.

To celebrate the overwhelming success of 5 months of bargaining, contract ratification and increased membership, we will be holding our Fall Social on Friday, November 14 from 6-9PM in SSB 218. There will be food, friends, a raffle for members who bring their non-member friends to sign up, and more!

We would also like to tell you about some open positions we have in GAU: Communications Chair, Grievance Officer, Political Action Chair, University Action Chair, and positions on all committees. You can see the position descriptions in our Bylaws. A strong leadership team is crucial to our success not only at the bargaining table, but in our day-to-day operations as well. If you have been wanting to get more involved, but did not know in what capacity, please email us as we would love to speak to you more about it. If you can help out for 10 minutes a week or even 10 hours a week, we can find ways for you to become more involved.

Our two organizers, Kayla Kirk and John Murchira, have been doing a fantastic job recruiting new members. If you would like them to come to your department to build membership, please let us know. Becoming a GAU member is even easier with our online membership form. We encourage you to email your colleagues and let them know the benefits of being a GAU member, if you have not already. If you just do not know what to say, let us know and we can get some talking points to you.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, please do not forget to vote. Tomorrow is the last day for Early Voting and Tuesday, November 4th is Election Day. You can find your Leon County polling location here. There is much at stake this election, so please exercise your right to vote. The Florida Education Association is expecting the governor’s race to come down to just a few thousand votes, so every vote counts.

Again, thank you for your continuing support as we keep up the fight for better working conditions for all GAs at FSU. And as always, we are here if you ever have any questions or concerns.



Important Information

Letter from Florida Representative Michelle Reywinkel Vasilinda regarding Fees-to-Work

See the letter here.


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