Greetings once again, fellow GAs
I hope this update finds everyone enjoying a successful (if hectic) first week of the fall semester. The GAU has once again been busy at the bargaining table with the FSU board of trustees. We’d like to thank everyone who came out to this past session. Our greatest strength is our members, so to every one of you who comes out to these sessions: thank you.
This past Tuesday, GAU’s bargaining team presented the FSU admin with another counter-offer on stipends and health insurance. Since the administration graciously offered us $100 more in non-recurring bonuses at the last session, we graciously dropped our demands for our minimum stipend increase by roughly the same net amount. Our counter was a salary increase of 3.5% across the board, and a raise in minimum stipends to $18,100. On health insurance premiums, we presented a cornucopia of data that showed the vast majority of comparable graduate programs (and indeed, many graduate programs ranked a great deal lower than our own!) offer 100% or nearly 100% employer contributions to health insurance premiums. We lowered our offer from full coverage to $120 less than full coverage. That would mean GAs would be responsible for a nominal $10 monthly fee for their health insurance.
Although the FSU admin spent an hour caucusing after they heard our proposals, they had no response for us that day.
Members, our greatest strength is that we are now back on campus together, working hard at the jobs that the FSU admin doesn’t think deserve a recurring salary increase, or are worth guaranteeing more than a $15,000 salary minimum per year, I strongly encourage you to come out to our next bargaining session, September 4th, 2-5PM at the Training Center. Bring your families, your kids, and yourselves! Even thirty minutes of your time at bargaining is invaluable. FSU admin does not view us as adult employees: they view us as students. It is one of many reasons why they continue to offer us merely 76% employer contributions to our insurance premiums and paltry one-time bonus offers. Let’s put some faces to our struggles and show the admin who we are on Wednesday next week!
In solidarity, Vincenza Antonetta Berardo Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU