Bargaining Update – February 24th

The bargaining team met with the Administration last Friday. First, we want to give a shout out to all the GEU members who stopped by to watch the session. The tone changed substantially as soon as we had observers, from hostile to cautious/reserved. We need to keep showing up to hold them accountable, and not allow them to delay decision-making.

We are slowly working through one of the longest and most complex articles in our contract, appointments. Appointments will include GAship eligibility, notice of appointments, and the role of assistantships. Each team has presented language and we are working towards combining the best of both.

Appointment Notification

While we are making progress, we are getting considerable push back from the Administration team on creating consistent policies that all GA’s are able to rely on. A particular point of discontent was our language for notice of appointment. We presented language that said, under normal circumstances we deserve at least 25 working days to find out about if we have jobs. 25 working days allows us to plan our schedule and finances, figure out housing or childcare, or find alternative employment if we didn’t receive a graduate assistantship. The PSU Administration resisted this immediately, saying it would just too hard to implement and leave them vulnerable to too many grievances.

Mandatory Fees

We also discussed including approximations of mandatory fees and PSU health insurance costs in GA appointment letters.  For a GA enrolled in PSU’s health plan and taking 9 credits, these costs are approximately $422 per month. The median monthly GA stipend is $1159 per month, and we should know that we can expect to take home $422 less than that ($737 per month), because we need to know if we can pay our rent. When you receive a job offer, you should be able to tell how much money you’re taking home by reading the offer letter.  This is just basic employment transparency, but nevertheless, the PSU Administration resisted, claiming that fees and health insurance are not employee issues.

We want to hear from you! How well has PSU kept you informed leading up to an appointment or reappointment? Should our appointment letters include all fee information?

Join us next time! We will be meeting at 8am, Monday, March 6th the Park Avenue Cafe, 1525 SW Park Ave  for a pre-bargaining meeting. Also, you can observe bargaining, anytime from 9am – 4pm, in the University Room (651) at Market Center Building.