Bad news from the bargaining table.
We walked in expecting to discuss the $2.9 million Sally McRorie asked the FSU Board of Trustees to appropriate for graduate assistant funding. Although we had set aside a three hour block to meet with the FSU bargaining team, after a mere seventy-seven minutes they told us they were ending bargaining today. And that’s not even the worst of it.
At the last bargaining session, as you may recall, FSU administration made an error in offering us a package which they thought was equivalent to a previous offer, but actually was by our estimates nearly half a million less. They offered a 1.5% one-time bonus, which would result in less money for every GA out of the 3,000+ employed by FSU other than 25 GAs who are making more than $33,000 a year. When we pointed all this out to them they concurred, said this was their mistake, and both sides agreed that Article 23 was therefore still with the FSU bargaining team. They would come back to the next bargaining session with a real offer.
In the interim, FSU administration revised Article 23 over e-mail to avoid some language errors, though did not change their overall offer. However, we are forbidden from bargaining “away from the table.” This session, FSU administration was disappointed to see we failed to do exactly that. They expected us to come in with a proposal in response to their Article 23 as revised over e-mail, even though at the last session both parties agreed that Article 23 was with the FSU administration.
Then the FSU administration grew frustrated with us for taking too long in caucus when we scrambled to respond to this insulting offer, using administrative data they only sent to us 21 hours before bargaining.
They left without hearing our counter proposals to Articles 16, 19, and 23.
We don’t know when our next session will be because the FSU administration left without scheduling it with us.
And the $2.9 million Sally McRorie asked the FSU Board of Trustees to appropriate for graduate assistant funding never even came up.
But you can help! Tell your friends we need to start PACKING THE ROOM. Can’t make it in person? We’re going to livestream the next session, so you can watch as our bargaining team works hard for raises, lower health insurance premiums, and fee relief.
Your raises are on the line, graduate assistants. Time to start showing up.
Vincenza Antonetta Berardo
Chief Negotiator, UFF-FSU-GAU