Bargaining Weekly on Mondays 11am – 3 pm: https://pdx.zoom.us/j/89575632910
“Long-term Solution” Means “No Solution for a Long Time”
This week in bargaining GEU heard PSU’s counters on re-appointment protections, union information rights, and GA health and wellness support: especially healthcare. While we are starting to see recognition from PSU admin that these areas are in an unacceptable state, their current proposals are too little and they will be too late to help GAs struggling now.
Let’s talk healthcare:
Last week, PSU declared that they are not interested in supporting grads by subsidizing the student health plan. They have also strongly resisted beginning any process that would move us toward our own employee plan. Now they have unveiled their alternative: a hypothetical “Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement.” In this arrangement, GAs would be given a fixed sum of money to put toward any ACA marketplace plan. Sounds pretty good, right? Well…
- It is unclear whether such a program would serve international GAs, and if not, then it is a complete non-starter. GEU stands with all of our GAs.
- A fixed sum is not a percentage! Inflating healthcare costs would render the benefit moot without constant struggle by GEU
- When we say hypothetical, we mean it. PSU has proposed another toothless task force to “investigate the possibility”, setting a timeline in which no such program would happen until 2024.
Our bargaining team is working hard to determine if there is a path forward on this proposal that will get GAs the assistance they need now, and continue that assistance for the long term – not begin in the long term! In the meantime, we stand by our proposal: subsidize the student health plan now, and move GAs onto an employee plan ASAP!
Either way, we need your continued support to force PSU to quit stalling and give GAs what we deserve.
What you can do!
We asked for signatures on our Open Letter to President Percy and you delivered! The Bargaining team was humbled by GAs support for our letter. But the letter is still open: sign it if you haven’t!
Do you have a department slack or discord that is consistently lacking in GEU rabble-rousing? GEU is working on expanding our communications network to better reach GAs, and we need volunteers who will relay our messages. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any channel links. We’ll bring the PSU Admin memes!