On Tuesday FSU returned articles 6 (workload), 15 (union deductions), and 17 (miscellaneous previous) to us, and we’re happy to say that we made some progress! Article 6. A work in progress, BUT the administration agreed to one of our more important demands, which is definitions of job codes/responsibilities within the article. We want to make sure that anybody who is instructor of record gets paid the 2 weeks prep time BEFORE classes begin, and that anybody with grading duties gets paid the 2 days AFTER finals week, before grades are due. Getting those definitions of responsibilities into this article was the first building block for that. They rejected our “formula” for calculating overwork, but they agreed that you can file a workload audit starting week 1, which is what we wanted (because if you’re already going WAY over your expected work hours in week 1, maybe you should be getting paid for prep time)! Article 15. They agreed to several of our asks here and struck a few things we knew they would strike (but hey, it never hurts to try!). We countered their proposal on just one point: we need to know when someone is discontinued from union membership. This is important because sometimes members get dropped from their union membership without warning and neither we nor the member would know this unless they’re checking your paycheck for union deductions every time. So we want to make sure we have that info so we can catch these errors when they happen. Article 17. This one is really important—we struck language stating that “the union can be decertified if random members of ours decide to go on strike.” And the University agreed! We accepted their counter (a language change that amounted to the same thing we asked for in the first place). We are no longer in danger of decertification if members of our bargaining unit decide to go on a solidarity scholars strike or anything similar (remember though, that we as a UNION still cannot strike). That means 5 articles are officially TA’d (and 2 are unofficially TA’d).
Overall, it feels like nit-picks, but these are all building blocks for our overall bargaining strategy this year, and we’re getting a lot of what we’re asking for early on. We ended bargaining discussing the importance of getting Article 19 back to us (Discipline), which they’ve had for 90 days now. FSU administration reassured us they were working on it and we MIGHT see it next session. Speaking of which…
A big reason why the administration FINALLY got something back to us is because of member pressure. It’s all thanks to YOU that we’re starting to see some turnaround on the articles we’ve given them. But we’ve got to keep it up. If you have a story you’d like to share about sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination you’ve experienced at FSU, we want to hear from YOU. We still have their UNACCEPTABLE proposal to RETURN TO THE STATUS QUO on sexual harassment policies, and we NEED your stories telling us why those policies have FAILED. Without your stories, the administration has no reason to think their practices on sexual assault, harassment, or biased discipline are anything other than effective. Impact statements can be anonymous, and we will read them for you.
Our next Bargaining Committee meeting will be held this Sunday, July 11th, 12:00PM over Zoom. If you’re interested in helping with bargaining, stop 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 hang out with us! In Solidarity, Vincenza Antonetta Berardo Chief Negotiator & Bargaining Chair