Our bargaining team met once again on Friday, April 28th with the PSU Administration Team. Shout out to the members who joined us last Friday! It’s good to keep the Administration Team accountable for their positions.
Generally, bargaining an existing contract takes about a year. We started in October 2016. As this is a brand new contact, our situation is a bit unique. Writing a first contact takes several iterations of each article. We are attempting to move quickly and efficiently through all the non-economic articles first, then transition into all the economic articles. Non-economic articles are just as important, if not more so, than the economic ones. These develop the processes and procedures for our working conditions.
We presented a summary of the work that remains, similar to the summary in our last blog post, and shared our judgment that it will be a challenge to finish everything (including economic articles, e.g. Health Insurance, Salary) during this term, and proposed that we plan to continue negotiations next Fall. So far, the Administration Team hasn’t agreed to this. We’re concerned that if we rush the economic articles, we may not get a good deal on things that really matter to GAs, and hope that the Administration Team will recognize that we deserve at least as much time to finish our new contract as our ally unions on campus get to bargain existing contracts.
At this point, the Administration Team has indicated they will not be presenting any more initial proposals on non-economic issues. Therefore, our team is responsible for the rest of the initial proposals for such topics. During this session we presented initial proposals for Union Rights and Health, Safety, & Work environment. Next session, on May 12th, we will have a few more in hand.
Our team presented counter proposals for Appointments, Discipline and Discharge, and Evaluations. The Administration team presented counters on Layoff and Personnel Records.
After a in-session counter on Personnel Records, we came to agreement on the language and we signed off on it as a tentative agreement. As a reminder, a tentative agreement is when both teams agree on the language for any given article and then we set it aside until all the articles are completed. Then we bind them up and sign off on the contract in whole.
See you all Friday, May 12th!