Solidarity my good chums,
That's right, TWO weeks in a row we're bringing you TWO-for-one Fridays here at GAU bargaining! We'll be bargaining the MOU#2 AGAIN--perhaps we will FINALLY reach an agreement with the administration???--as well as receiving multiple counter-offers from them on our regular contract.
This Friday, 9/18, from 2-4PM, pull up a front row seat for all the action!
As for what happened last Friday...
MOU, Really, We're SO CLOSE...
MOU#2 continues to inch closer and closer to an agreement. This past Friday the FSU administration agreed to:
NOT requiring GAs "demonstrate" how COVID negatively impacted their research in order to apply for an extra year of funding
AGREED to include an appeals process for the extra year of funding: First, you would apply to your department head, and then if they deny you, you would be able to appeal to your Academic Dean
AGREED to receive applications from SECOND year GAs who had their residency interrupted by COVID for relief from out-of-state tuition and fees THIS year.
That last bullet point means we're finally in AGREEMENT with FSU administration on the residency fees and tuition waivers, which means we are down to EXACTLY ONE ARTICLE left under consideration: the funding extension. We know that this is of course an incredibly important article to get right, and so we're still refining the terms with the administration. We disagreed with them because FSU administration asked for:
NO explanation of the reasons behind denying a funding extension
We countered this by asking that the FIRST funding extension denial be required to include an explanation, so GAs can adjust their application on appeal.
A DEADLINE of November 15, 2020
We countered this by agreeing to the November 15th deadline, but making it YEARLY. That is so a) departments can have time to sort out their budgets for the incoming year, but also b) GAs will have time to figure out if they need the funding extension, beyond just this fall.
These are the last TWO ISSUES we are discussing with administration.If we can sort these out this Friday, we can SIGN THIS MOU and YOU all can get your funding extensions.
Now the Medicore News...
We presented our counter-offer to FSU administration on health insurance:
$120 health insurance premiums for employees
Opt-out option for the subsidy, instead of opt-in as it is now
If you'll recall from last week's email, FSU's opening offer on health insurance was to cover only HALF the insurance company's increase, leaving YOU to pay$113 extra dollars for health insurance this year.
In the middle of a global pandemic, this is an unconscionable, immoral ask.
Not to mention YOUR fellow GAs at other Florida schools are paying nowhere NEAR those numbers. UCF and FAMU GAs pay NOTHING for their health insurance. UF GAs pay $10 a month. USF GAs pay $13. So why does FSU expect us to pay $60 a month??
Meanwhile, we are still waiting to hear FSU's counter on fees, prorating, and tuition.This Friday it will have been 53 days at least that FSU administration has had our proposals on these issues, and has yet to return a counter-offer.
As usual, we are looking forIMPACT STATEMENTS. If you have been impacted by the low stipends, high fees, high health insurance costs, or more, we want to hear about it! E-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember: this is your MONEY on the line. You want higher stipends and lower fees? THIS IS HOW YOU GET IT. Remember that $650 December bonus last year?THIS IS WHERE THAT HAPPENS. All you have to do is show up.
Vincenza Antonetta Berardo
Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU
Florida State University