A happy Four-Day work week to you all,
Hope you used your long weekend to rest up, because you're going to need the extra energy! We're going to pack DOUBLE the bargaining session into a SINGLE two-hour marathon this Friday. That's right: it may be the week of Labor Day but your Union is working TWICE as hard to protect your rights and win big financial gains for YOU at the bargaining table.
Once again, if you're just here for the zoom links, scroll to the bottom and you'll see them. But I highly recommend you read the update on the administration's "offer" to us from last Friday because...
FSU Expects You To Take a Pay-Cut
That's right. After 46 days away from the regular bargaining table, FSU administration came back with their offer:
$113 INCREASE to your health insurance premiums
And that was it. NO increase to health insurance coverage, NO increase to the minimum stipend, NO competitive pay adjustments, and NO counter on prorating, fees, and tuition whatsoever.
That's right. The FSU administration expects YOU, its hardest-working, lowest-paid asset, to accept $187 this year. Since bonuses were $650 last year, this amounts to FSU asking all of its Graduate Assistantsto take a $463 pay-cut in the middle of a global pandemic.
This is patently outrageous, laughable, and insulting. Your bargaining team knows this, you know this, and the FSU administration surely knows this. We will continue to fight at the bargaining table for you until FSU gives us something that could be deemed an actual OFFER instead of a CUT.
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.
Impact Bargaining CONTINUES
Meanwhile, on the brighter side: we are SO CLOSE you guys. We got some BIG asks met last fortnight. Among them:
Every GA who was employed by FSU as of March 1st, 2020, will have the opportunity to apply for an extra year of funding. Current GAs applying for a funding extension will be given priority over admission of new GAs.
Out-of-state tuition and fees will be covered for all domestic GAs who start their second year Fall 2021.
The LAST few things we are hashing out with the administration include:
Exactly WHAT process GAs will have to go through to apply for their extra funding, and IF they will have to "demonstrate" that they need the extra year because of COVID-19. We do not think the burden should be on GAs to demonstrate this; the admin disagrees.
If you were a first-year GA in 2019-2020 and your residency was interrupted by COVID-19, we believe the University should cover your out-of-state tuition and fees in your second year. The administration STRUCK this language Friday; we inserted it BACK with some modifications.
And so the battle rages on! Could we finally PUT AN END to this back-and-forth this Friday? Well, if all of you turn out EN MASSE we may very well! Show up, turn out, be there to support your fellow GAs.When we are united the administration cannot deny the power of our bargaining position. Feeling hopeless, despondent, like you can't possibly make a difference in the world? This is one way you can affect real, actual change, right now, for yourself and thousands of your fellow GAs.
Vincenza Antonetta Berardo
Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU
Florida State University