Frequently Asked Questions

How does collective bargaining work?


"Collective bargaining is the process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with their employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family, and more. Collective bargaining is a way to solve workplace problems. It is also the best means for raising wages in America. Indeed, through collective bargaining, working people in unions have higher wages, better benefits and safer workplaces." - American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations




What constitutes a grievance?


A grievance is something you believe is a violation of your contract or basic workplace protections. Common grievances might include late/missing paychecks, unsafe or insufficient work space, innapropriate behavior from a superior, etc. To file a grievance, go to File a Grievance.




How do I purchase health insurance?


To purchase health insurance and/or dependant coverage, visit: https://studentinsurance.fsu.edu/purchase_insurance To purchase dental and vision insurance, visit: https://www.gallagherstudent.com/students/student-home.php?idField=1422 To learn more about the Graduate Subsidy program for health insurance, visit: https://gradschool.fsu.edu/funding-awards/subsidy-benefit




Where do my dues go?


Dues are collected by the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), a statewide labor union representing instructors in Florida. Every year, GAU recieves a portion of those dues to carry about essential duties, host events for members, and associated costs. UFF uses dues to consult lawyers, sponsor work to help instructors at all levels, and maintain the union.




How can I support GAU bargaining efforts?


Help grow out membership! Our efforts are only as strong as our membership base. We always encourage members to attend our bargaining sessions, talk to the Board of Trustees at their meetings, support legislation increasing our rights and protections, and join our committees or executive positions! Follow us on Facebook to stay informed of bargaining and meeting dates.




What are the requirements for membership?


GAU members must be a current Graduate Assistant at Florida State University and pay 1% of their monthly stipend to GAU. This is automatically deducted from your stipend, and should take effect in 1-2 payment cycles. You do NOT need to be active in GAU to maintain your membership! If you do nothing else after you sign up, you have still made an important step towards securing your rights and the rights of future GAs.