Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Happy Tuesday to you lovely union members!
This Friday, 8/21, from 2-4 PM will be our FOURTH "Impact Bargaining" session, live on Zoom! We're making BIG progress! Last Friday we, your Graduate Assistants union, offered OUR response to the FSU administration. As a reminder, "impact bargaining" takes place outside of regular, annual bargaining, when special limited circumstances arise that affect the implementation of our standard, previously-agreed upon contract. We have achieved major strides in bringing the administration closer to the needs of the graduate assistants. The administration has offered to cover the out-of-state tuition and fees NEXT YEAR for all graduate assistants starting THIS year. That means that incoming GAs don't have to worry about risking their health and safety to frantically move to Tallahassee in the midst of a COVID-19 surge. The administration ALSO agreed that if the dorms close, all GAs who live in the dorms as part of their employment will either a) continue to have housing even if the undergraduates are forced to leave again, or b) will be financially compensated so they will be able to afford alternative housing, if the dorms have to be completely shuttered. We responded to the administration's proposal with two major asks: 1) that the health and safety language has to be strengthened for GAs so that they can choose to work remotely, even if they don't have preexisting conditions, and b) all current GAs MUST have the option of an ADDITIONAL YEAR OF FUNDING, to complete their research which has been interrupted by this pandemic. The administration did not respond in writing to our demands at that time. HOWEVER, a dialogue was opened about the importance of guaranteeing an additional year of funding, and the administration did not reject it outright.
This means this Friday's impact bargaining is our most important yet. If we have any hope of guaranteeing an additional year of funding for ALL GAs, we will ALL HAVE TO SHOW UP TO BARGAINING THIS FRIDAY. The more of YOU who are there, facing the administration, demanding your concerns be HEARD, the stronger our bargaining position is. You have the power to win these demands, simply by showing up to a zoom call.
How can I help?
1. Send Us Your Impact Statements Reach out to us via our e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share YOUR story with us. The FSU administration NEEDS to put a face to the adversities GAs are facing during these unprecedented times, and you are the ones who can do that! Want that guaranteed extra year of funding? The only way you're going to get it is if you're VOCAL. Now's the time to speak up.
2. Show Up to Bargaining The more of us there, the stronger our bargaining position. "United we bargain, divided we beg" isn't just a slogan: it is a core truth about the power of collective bargaining.
3. Convince Two Colleagues to Come to Bargaining See point #2, except times'd by TWO! Looking forward to seeing ALL of you there. Let's pack that ZROOM ("Zoom Room")! In Solidarity, Vincenza Antonetta Berardo Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU Ph.D. Candidate Philosophy Department Florida State University