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Bargaining Session #1

Well, the bandaid is ripped off and the barn doors are open. In other words: bargaining is officially underway!

Your union opened with proposals for Articles 2 and 23, appointments and stipends, to try and close the gap between the minimum stipend set by our contract and the stipend many of you actually take home, which is a good deal less than that. What we want is for every GA to make at the very least the $15,600 guaranteed by our collective bargaining agreement—otherwise what’s the point of bargaining for raises to the minimum at all? This proposal also included raising the minimum to $20,000 per academic year, and competitive pay raises of $1,000 to every GA at FSU.

We also opened up Article 19, where we proposed a codified series of procedures for disciplinary actions against GAs. This is so GAs don’t have to depend on the good graces of their supervisors or departments for unbiased reprisals, but instead discipline would be applied equally and fairly to everyone.

In return, the FSU administration opened Article 7 to clarify some language about what a “relative” is in cases of conflicts of interest. This is so GAs won’t be put in positions over their spouses, siblings, &c. At first glance GAU doesn’t see any problems with this, though of course we’re going to look into it more thoroughly.

And then, we waited for FSU administration to open Article 12 and give us their grand fix for the international student tuition gap. After all, last fall they amended Article 12 specifically to promise that they would open it again, and agreed that finding a way to waive the international GA’s out-of-state tuition fees is a “priority.” But, as it has been for the last HALF DECADE, the FSU administration had NOTHING to offer us for international GAs. No plan, no timeline for plans, no partial waivers or fee relief, nothing.

So now it's down to us, again, to solve the problems the administration refuses to.

Thank you ALL for coming out to our virtual bargaining session! We outnumbered the administration about two to one this time—this time, I want it to be THREE to one!

Remember, united we bargain, divided we beg!

Vincenza Antonetta Berardo

Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU

Ph.D. Candidate

Philosophy Department

Florida State University

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