Bargaining Update: November 03, 2017

Shout out to all of the GAs and PSU community who showed up today. It is unbelievably motivating to see everyone. Today the GEU bargaining team came prepared with Term of Agreement, Fees, and Health Insurance articles, and a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Streetcar issue.

Term of Agreement: We proposed a two year term of agreement, meaning the first contract would expire in the Spring of 2020. Given the high turnover rate among grad employees, we need a shorter term of agreement to ensure continuity on our bargaining teams. We also felt it was important to include a reopener where either or both parties could open up to four articles during the lifetime of the agreement. This provision allows GEU and Admin to jointly monitor this germinal arrangement and to make adjustments as necessary.  You can read our full proposal here.

Fees: We reiterated our need for 100% fee remission, including the addition to remit the one-time Matriculation Fee. This remission would have a huge impact on GAs.  You can read our full proposal here.

Health Insurance: As they have consistently in the past, Admin stated today that they object to the concept of providing subsidized health insurance, among other benefits, to part time employees. Because PSU has

  • refused to provide any language on health care on these grounds,
  • initially claimed that covering PSU student health insurance premiums would make PSU liable for fines and loss of federal funding (we have determined this not to be the case),
  • claimed that their broker could not get any bids for a group plan for GAs (we independently contracted a broker who manages multiple similar plans)

PSU has communicated to GAs is that our health and well-being is not a priority for PSU. By the end of the session, Admin said they would take our proposal to the President. We look forward to having a thorough and meaningful discussion on providing healthcare for GAs. You can read our full proposal here.

Streetcar: We also proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to get the streetcar deal in writing, including reimbursements for folks who already purchased a pass during Fall term.  Initially, PSU proposed to only reimburse GAs who had purchased a discounted pass, but after we talked about how some GAs who tried to purchase discounted passes were denied, and many were not aware that PSU offered discount passes, PSU said that were open to a solution where GAs who had independently purchased a pass could request a reimbursement.  So, if you purchased a pass this Fall, get in touch with us and we’ll let PSU know! You can read our full MOU here.

Last year’s Tentative Agreements: We’ve had a lot of requests for the language the teams tentatively agreed to last year, so we’re attaching a draft compilation of last year’s TAs.  This includes articles on Workload, Appointments, Union Rights, and many other topics that will affect our employee experience going forward, once the contract goes into effect.  You can read the full articles here.

Our next session will be Friday, November 17th 9-12:30. This is a big one! GEU will bring new articles on Professional Development, Child Care/Family Friendly Workplaces, Transportation & Parking, and Health and Wellbeing. We will also bring counters to Admin’s proposals on Salary, Tuition Remission, and Leaves of Absence. We expect counters to the each of the articles we presented today.