At our most recent bargaining session, FSU returned article 7 (outside employment) to us. They want to maintain in place a department’s right to ban outside work for GAs; the only concession they made was to raise the level that departments can start banning outside work from $19,500 an academic year to $21,060. We are opposed to this because if outside work doesn’t interfere with our work for FSU there should be no ban whatsoever. We also presented our Financial Articles: 2 (appointment length), 12 (fees and tuition), 16 (health insurance), 23 (stipends), and appendices G and H to go along with Article 2. Article 2: Appointments. FSU took issue with us asking for them to include an optional FERPA waiver with the appointment letter so that non-members could opt to release their information to the union (so we can send them update emails or whatnot). We are also continuing to try and get everyone on academic year appointments, AKA: closing the winter break gap, getting you prep time before the semester, etc. Article 12: Fees. This was the most controversial article. When we asked for an update on international GA tuition waivers FSU didn’t seem to know/understand what the issue was. When we refreshed their memory, they said that there had been “progress” but couldn’t name any actual numbers or data. We have had a public records request in since March for this exact data and we’re still waiting on it. Then they said they couldn’t guarantee out-of-state fee waivers because it would be administratively burdensome, even though in the paragraph before in the contract they guarantee tuition waivers to in-state students. When we then asked for fee relief FSU stated that we couldn’t bargain fees. However, this article already exists in our contract and two specific fees—matriculation and out-of-state—are waived either partially or fully. They claimed fees that we pay to work are actually a “student issue” and we can’t bargain them. This is an issue because the two most “student” of our fees are tuition and that’s already in the contract, whereas the fees we’re asking to be waived, like program-specific equipment fees and technology fees, are fees we pay to use the equipment we do our jobs with. They then claimed it was illegal to waive fees, yet other bargaining units in Florida received fee waivers for two of its fees this year. We’re asking for waivers of all program-specific fees, tuition waivers for all our international students and out-of-state waivers, and waivers for all university and local fees. Article 16: Health Insurance. We asked for 100% health insurance premium coverage, not just for the main health insurance but also for dependent, dental, and vision coverage. This was met with staunch refusal. Article 23: Stipends. We asked for a raise to the minimum stipend of $22,500. We asked for a $2.09 an hour raise for all GAs starting this fall ($1,000 a year), AND, for all GAs who were here last year, we asked for ANOTHER $2.09 an hour raise (since we did not receive a raise last year, just a bonus), and for GAs who were here the year before THAT, ANOTHER $2.09 an hour raise. So if this will be at least your third year at FSU this fall we’re asking for a $6.27 raise for you, to make up for the lack of raises for the last two years.
Our next in-person Bargaining Committee meeting will be held Monday, June 14th, 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, etc. 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. 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.