Yesterday, CGE and OSU management met for the seventh time. Management promised a comprehensive response to all the issues we’ve raised in bargaining.

  • On the key issues of salaries and fee relief, they’ve said “no:” no raises and no increases to the fee relief of $250 per term. Under Management’s current proposal, the only way for someone to get a raise is if the department wants to give a raise. (By the way, fees are going up by at about $60/year to pay for the right to get a football ticket. There are other fees increases as well. Departmental fees will not increase but things like building fees and technology fees could increase.)
  • On the issue of email access, they’ve said that we can could start sending email to multiple graduate employees at one time. Clearly they are not in touch with reality. Anyone in the world can send email to multiple graduate employees at one time. Just go to any department’s personnel listing, copy and paste a few email addresses, type a message and press send. Presto! You’ve just violated the university’s email policy, and they won’t do anything about it, because this happens all the time.
  • The bit of good news is that we might get summer health insurance, if the details can be worked out. This is certainly something that we are interested in and we are pleased that Management has brought this to the table. The CGE bargaining team is prepared to work very hard to get this in place for this summer. We’ll see what the administration is willing to do.
  • The university is not willing to increase its contribution for health care beyond 75% of the single payer deductible.
  • The university is not willing to increase its family friendliness. They are not willing to to contribute towards health insurance for spouses or dependents. Further, the university is not prepared to offer graduate employees specific money for childcare that is separate from what is already available.
  • The university is not willing to grant us fair-share.
  • On a variety of issues regarding the interaction between CGE and university, the university has made some movement.

Overall, the CGE bargaining team and the CGE members present were very displeased with proposal. Progress on summer health insurance is good. However, no increases in fee relief and no guaranteed raises are unacceptable because it does not guarantee graduate employees’ ability to keep up with inflation. It is distressing to see that OSU Management would not propose anything to make OSU more family friendly, via contributions to spouse and dependent health insurance and child. Not granting fair-share is unacceptable because it will keep the union weak. Fair share is something that OSU is not philosophically opposed to, as they collect fees set by student government. Second, of all the groups affiliated with campus, CGE is one of the largest (at nearly 360 members) and it is what our members want. Third, every other higher education related union in the state has fair-share, including OSU’s Service Employees International Union, the union for classified employees on campus. In other words, neither OUS nor OSU are opposed to unions having fair-share.

It sounds like the administration wants to make this a long summer.

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