Good evening GAs,
Today I get to be the bearer of GOOD news from your bargaining team. Friday morning the FSU administration and your union reached an agreement on our “Memorandum of Understanding,” aka our impact bargaining document. The administration met many of our terms, and we’re very happy with the protections we now have guaranteed to our GAs. Although we didn’t receive all the financial recompense we asked for, we were willing to compromise on that for the safety and job security of our GAs, which remains our number one priority.
The complete MOU is linked at the top of the page (see MOU). But if you’re just interested in the highlights:
The university agreed to meet with three executive committee members of the union weekly to update us on 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.
Only GAs deemed essential are required to report to campus for work.
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.
Having problems with travel fund reimbursement and disappointed we couldn’t help you with that? Be on the lookout for a survey from us on exactly this issue. We are still working hard to make GAs whole; unfortunately given that travel funds are largely based on individual departments, we have to handle this on a case-by-case basis. So please, fill out that survey or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now your bargaining team will step out of the spotlight for a few weeks to prepare as we gear up for regular bargaining with the university. In the meantime, watch your inboxes for events and updates from the union as we all try to get through the end of this semester together!
Vincenza Antonetta Berardo
Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU