GEU Bargaining Priorities
Wages: The PSU minimum stipend for graduate assistants is hundreds of dollars less than minimum stipend rates at UO and OSU while Portland has the highest cost of living in the state. Many of us are forced to take on additional jobs in order to make ends meet, making it difficult to provide the best quality research and instruction to our undergraduate students. This year in contract negotiations we will focus on raising the minimum stipend, lowering mandatory student fees, and securing cost of living adjustments (COLAs).
Healthcare: Currently, the PSU health insurance plan is $827 per term which is higher than many of our monthly stipends. In addition to the egregious expense, our current plan doesn’t offer dependent health care coverage, vision, or dental coverage. As employees of PSU, we deserve affordable employer provided health insurance.
Workload: Many of us are given too much work, and, as a result, we often end up working more hours than we’re paid for. As class sizes grow without adequate adjustments in resources, graduate employees are less able to provide quality education and support for their students. We’re fighting to establish a strong mechanism that ensures we all have manageable workloads.
Job Security: PSU does not always provide stable employment for graduate employees. Many GA’s cannot rely on employment beyond a quarterly position. GA’s may not find out if they have a position until a few days before the quarter starts. All GA’s deserve to have employment they can count on.
Emily Leickly (pronounced “likely”)