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Fall Semester and MOU

Updated: May 12, 2020

Happy Summer, GAs! As we head into the summer months and we begin looking ahead to the fall semester, departments are starting to plan out their course loads and research funding. Please, if you receive word in a sudden change in your employment situation thanks to COVID-19, contact us. We cannot guarantee that you will be completely sheltered from what we fear will be monstrous austerity measures, but there are some protections we have already put in place via this MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) we signed with FSU admin in April. For instance, if your work can reasonably be done remotely, your supervisor cannot penalize you for being absent from campus. Similarly, if your student evaluations were particularly brutal this semester, you cannot be penalized for this.  In addition to everything we did foresee, I am sure there are many impacts of COVID-19 that GAU could not predict. If you are experiencing any negative impacts from COVID-19 related to your employment at FSU, please do contact us.  Highlights of the MOU include:

  • Only GAs deemed essential are required to report to campus for work.

  • GAs cannot be penalized for not reporting to campus when their job can be done remotely. 

  • The university agreed to meet with three executive committee members of the union as needed to discuss any COVID-19 related policy changes. This also gives us the opportunity to bring to the attention of the administration any problems that arise for our members during this time.

  • Domestic and International GAs cannot be terminated or not re-appointed for the Fall 2020 for failure to make sufficient academic progress. Essentially, if this disruption has caused you to have trouble classes this semester, or miss a department milestone, you are guaranteed funding this fall. 

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act covers up to 4 weeks of paid sick leave for GAs or GAs family/household members affected by COVID-19. The terms of our normal contract also continue to apply here, in that you cannot be penalized for making use of sick leave.

  • The FFCR Act also covers GAs for up to 4 weeks who need to miss work for childcare related reasons. 

  • We retain intellectual property protection on everything we create for our online courses.

  • GAs cannot be penalized for not working more than however many hours, on average, they’re appointed to work every week. So if you found your had to put in an extra few hours setting up remote classes, that’s fine, but if you’re consistently having to put in above and beyond your appointment hours on the weekly to manage your remote duties, you cannot be required to do that and can talk with your supervisor about adjusting your workload. 

  • Student and supervisor evaluations this semester cannot count against you

Have questions or concerns for us? We’re here for you, at In solidarity,

Vincenza Antonetta Berardo Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU Ph.D. Candidate Philosophy Department Florida State University

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