Bargaining update: May 28, 2021

Are you ready for some great news??? We got a deal!!!!

We reached a tentative agreement with PSU that extends our contract language for the three topics we have been bargaining over (fees, minimum hourly wage, and cost of living adjustment) from one year to three years, and gives us economic gains.  

Here it is: 

Academic Year 2021-2022: 

  • 100% fee remission of quarterly student fees (excludes matriculation fee) (previous contract: 80% fee remission, excl matriculation fee)
  • Minimum hourly rate: $17 (previous contract: $15.87)
  • Cost of Living Adjustment: 1% (previous contract: based on CPI-W previous year average, released in November)

Academic Year 2022-2023

  • 100% fee remission of quarterly student fees (excludes matriculation fee) 
  • Minimum hourly rate: $18
  • Cost of Living Adjustment: 1.5%

Academic Year 2023-2024

  • 100% fee remission of quarterly student fees (excludes matriculation fee) 
  • Minimum hourly rate: $18.87
  • Cost of Living Adjustment: between a lower limit of 1.5% and upper limit of 3.5% based on CPI-W previous year average, released in November 
    • Note: The CPI-W fluctuates, and has only been calculated above 3.5% in four months since January 2017 

Your bargaining team has been working diligently to lead us to this point, but we wouldn’t be looking at this deal without the support of our many GEU who members who joined Zoom this week to observe our bargaining sessions.  Showing the PSU administration that we are a collective force, ready to show up for our community and fight for economic justice, was instrumental in this process.  

Below are the teams celebrating reaching a tentative agreement – note this is only one of two Zoom pages of the teams and observers!!

What happens now? 

Ultimately, where we go from here us up to all of us – the members of the Graduate Employees Union.  Look for an invitation to a ratification vote event and celebration to follow! Your GEU Bargaining Team sees this deal as an important step to economic security for GAs at PSU, and a huge win given the last year of social, health, and economic uncertainty, and we recommend a YES vote. 

In solidarity,

The GEU Bargaining Team
Emily Leickly, GEU VP for Collective Bargaining
Nick Puczkowskyj, GEU President
Lauren McKinney, GEU Bargaining Team Member 
James DeLaney, GEU Bargaining Team Member
Bryan Lally, American Federation Teachers of Oregon Field Representative 

P.S. We are still seeking nominations for a GEU Vice President for Collective Bargaining.  See how happy Emily (our current VP Bargaining) looks in the upper left of that photo? That could be you next year! Join a team of passionate, committed, and fun fellow GAs on the GEU Executive Board as we prepare to bargain again! No experience required. Email Emily at with questions about the position, and to nominate yourself or someone else!

Bargaining update: May 27, 2021

Today we concluded our second bargaining session for our contract extension and limited economic reopener on three topics: fee remission, minimum hourly rate, and cost of living adjustment.  

After PSU’s disappointing initial proposal, GEU opened the day with the following counter proposal.  

  1. 100% student fee remission — excluding matriculation fee from our first proposal 
  2. $18 minimum hourly rate — 86 cents less than our first proposal
  3. Cost of Living Adjustment of 3% — 0.9% less than our first proposal 

In this counter proposal, we gave up remission of the matriculation fee, lowered our minimum hourly rate by 86 cents, and lowered our cost of living adjustment by almost 1%.  

After we presented this counter proposal, how far did PSU stretch to meet us? 

Not very far.  The only difference from PSU’s opening proposal and today’s proposal is an extra $12 per month for our GAs working at the lowest hourly rates (about 1/3rd of all GAs)

PSU’s current proposal:

  1. 100% student fee remission (excluding matriculation fee) — unchanged from their first proposal
  2. $16.50 minimum hourly rate — up 25 cents from their first proposal for a total of 4% increase from our current minimum  
  3. Cost of Living Adjustment of 0.75% — unchanged from their first proposal

PSU’s offer of a 0.75% Cost of Living Adjustment is not adequate, especially given the recent agreements to give a 1% COLA to our unionized faculty colleagues on campus (PSUFA and AAUP), and our already low wages. 

We need our members to show up to support us at bargaining as observers, and check your emails or reach out to and to get involved in our union.

Our next bargaining session is tomorrow May 28 from 10am to 12pm.  

Contact for details how to join the bargaining session as an observer.

In solidarity,

Graduate Employees Union Bargaining Team