Fellow Graduate Assistants,
I hope you had a relatively sane orientation week. To the new members who signed up this week I’d like to extend a special welcome. Our union works because of you and the power of collective action, so thank you for your support.
Our last bargaining session ended in bitter disappointment. After weeks of planning arguments, collecting data, and creating charts and graphs, we presented what we thought was a creative and mutually beneficial response to the FSU administration: to take the amount of money they were offering as a one-time bonus and putting it towards covering 100% of the health insurance premiums for this upcoming year. We also asked for a 3.5% salary increase and to raise the minimum stipend to $18,250. This was a step down from our initial request of 3.6% salary increase and minimum stipend of $19,000.
After an hour and a half of deliberation, the FSU administration returned with their insultingly impecunious offer: 100 dollars more towards the one-time, non-recurring bonus. For insurance premiums, they were unwilling to move even a penny higher than their initial offer to cover 80% of the premium (which is exactly what they covered last year, and the year before that).
This unthoughtful, status-quo, and miserly offer is frankly disrespectful to the amount of time, consideration, and care our bargaining committee put into preparing their articles.
The good news is: you can help.
Our next bargaining session is Tuesday, August 27th, from 2-5PM at the Training Center. We had several GAs show up from outside the bargaining committee this past time, which was wonderful. Their show of support was greatly appreciated. Now it’s your turn to stand with us. Come in your GAU t-shirt if you can, and stay for as long as your schedule allows. Even coming for a half hour sends a message to this administration.
Remember, FSU works because YOU do. Let’s not let this administration forget that.
Vincenza Antonetta Berardo
Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU