At our most recent bargaining session on Wednesday, we are happy to report we’ve made some progress!
Article 5 has been “TA’d”! What does that mean? It means your GAU and FSU have come to a “Temporary Agreement” on Article 5 (academic freedom). We can now set that article aside for the rest of bargaining! Hooray!
As for what else they gave us:
Article 9: The University returned this article (copyrights and patents) with revisions, and although we need to look over it, it looks like this will be the next article we can safely “TA”! Article 18: This was the “workplace safety” article. There were some disappointments, and some wins. On disappointments: the University argued that providing a SINGLE chair and desk per office is adequate, no matter how many GAs are assigned to the office. More egregiously, the University struck all mentions of “mental” from our proposal, arguing that mental safety and security are not a “workplace safety” issue. We at GAU fundamentally disagree with this, so that will be a fight we continue to have with the University. On Wins: The University DID agree to much of our language concerning a) a timeline for responding to workplace safety concerns, and b) providing alternative workplaces while safety concerns are addressed.
Article 4: Graduate Assistant File. We added a provision to this file wherein all GAs need to be informed about the existence of their GA file when they begin their first appointment with GAU. Article 14: GAU Rights. We opened this article at this time because so many of our articles ask for these informational emails to be sent out to GAs. However, if the GAU could be guaranteed time at the Graduate School Orientation every year, we wouldn’t have to ask FSU to send out all these piecemeal emails! So we asked for 50 minutes at Orientation every semester, as well as a) an increase in supplemental appointments (AKA, more $$ to pay YOU guys to work for us!), b) release time, which is just a fancy way of saying we want FSU to pay a couple union executives for a whole year of union work, INSTEAD of having to work for their departments that year, and c) paid days off every semester for GAU senators, &c. to travel to union activities, as well as d) other such miscellanea.
Our first IN PERSON BARGAINING COMMITTEE MEETING since February of LAST YEAR will be this Monday, 3-5PM, at Gaines Street Pies (the Gaines Street location). If you’re interested in helping with bargaining, swing on by! We are still looking for: copywriters, graphic designers, researchers, social media managers, &c. Not sure what you can do to help? Show up anyway and have a beer or non-alcoholic beverage with us! NB: we WILL still have a “call-in” option for this meeting (see the bottom of this email). We love how much more accessible zoom has made GAU, but also want to start seeing each other in real life again! So we’re testing out this “hybrid” model.
Workplace Safety—Mental. Do you think mental safety is a workplace safety issue? Are you NOT a protected class, but still receive abuse or other experiences damaging to your mental health in your workplace? If so, email us! Graduate Assistant File. Did you know you have a GA file? In it is supposed to go all your evaluations and other relevant materials (that you might want when you go on the job market!). Did you know you have the right to ask for it at any time? If not, email us! Annual Evaluations. Did you know you’re supposed to be evaluated as a worker every year—not just as a graduate student. Have you never had an observation, in your lab or classroom? Have you never seen an evaluation of your work as a graduate employee? You’re supposed to receive and sign one of those every year, and then they’re supposed to go in your file (again: relevant for job search reasons)! If no, email us! Sick Leave/Caretaker Leave. Did you have to take leave to care for yourself or others and had a problem with your department? Were you expected to make up hours, work, reports, grading, &c. to an extent that felt impossible? Were you harassed for taking time off for medical reasons, for yourself or your family? Email us! Harassment. Finally, as always, we are looking for stories about harassment. If you were belittled, bullied, sexual harassed, &c. by your supervisor or other employees of FSU, we want to hear from you. Impact statements can be anonymous, and we can read them for you.