Once again, a huge shout out to our members who came to the session to observe. As per usual, your presence helped us tremendously!
Kevin Reynolds (PSU Vice President of Finance & Administration) joined at the beginning of the session to give a general overview of the Portland State budget process.
We finally settled on definitions of Graduate Assistants, and the three types: Graduate Administrative Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Teaching Assistants.
We are continuing to work 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, again, exchanged language a few times, and we are closer to finding common language that protects the interests of GAs and gives clarity to what a GA position entails.
In particular, Admin’s most recent proposal includes language in our Notice of Appointment that lists estimated health insurance and fees. Having this information all in one place will help us more accurately estimate our take home pay after these costs when deciding whether or not to accept a GA position. We’re excited to make progress towards a more transparent employment process for GAs, and look forward to making more.
Our team presented more language on workload today and allowed questions from the Administration Team. In general, both teams agree that GA’s should not be overworked. We are still negotiating what the enforcement mechanism will be.
We’ve spent the past term working on articles related to non-economic issues. Recognizing that issues such as health care and wage increases to keep up with cost of living will take up a lot of time at the table, we’re advocating for a transition to bargaining over articles related to financial issues next month. We’ll let all y’all know as we begin these discussions, so everyone has a chance to speak out, participate, and advocate for our future financial security and healthcare.
Come see our next bargaining session: April 7th, 2017 between 9am and 4pm, location TBD. We will be discussing evaluations, discipline and discharge, and building a grievance process.
Want to get involved in bargaining? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org