After about a year and a half, the 2008 $34 Summer Session Tuition Base case is closed, and the conclusion is a CGE victory in arbitration. Under the arbitrator’s decision, OSU must reimburse all grad employees who were in the bargaining unit during Summer Session 2008 for the cost of the $34 charge.
The arbitrator’s written decision lays out that, because of the way the money from the summer session tuition base is used, the charge is really tuition and not a fee and is thus subject to remission under the tuition waiver guaranteed by our contract. Because arbitration hearings are generally precedent-setting, this reasoning may actually become a useful tool for CGE in fighting fees going forward. The decision itself is an interesting read, and I’d recommend it for anyone who has the time (it’s about as long as a regular academic conference paper). You can download it below:
There are about 130 or so grad employees who were in the BU during Summer Session 2008 who will be reimbursed under this decision. Unfortunately, since OSU is not legally bound to apply contract protections to those not in the BU, the approximately 230 grad employees who were out of the BU during Summer Session 2008 and were forced to pay the $34 charge will not be reimbursed under this decision. (This is just one more example why the OSU administration should agree to include all grad employees in the BU, as CGE has proposed in bargaining this year.)
If you are in the class of employees who will be reimbursed as a result of this decision, you will soon receive a check for $34, regardless of whether or not you are still at OSU. Those in the affected class of employees should also expect to receive more detailed individual correspondence regarding this matter from CGE in the near future. If you believe you should be reimbursed and do not receive a check within the next few months, please contact CGE.
3 Thoughts on “CGE Wins $34 Arbitration”
I totally agree that it is a matter of avoiding paying the extra tuition. Botany actually “reimburses” us for the tuition and some health insurance. The problem with that is they pay us back over a three month period which has two downsides for us. 1) we get taxed on the “extra” income and 2) unless we can afford to pay off the charges to our student account right away, we get charged interest starting in June, but don’t start getting reimbursed until July. I also agree that it is not completely the department’s fault. Because the university has to count us as being here using credit hours it forces this kind of situation.
Nice work! Too bad Botany makes us “student hourly” employees in the summer, I am pretty sure that means we will not get reimbursed.
The decision many departments make to move grads to hourly summer positions is, I think, made mostly because departments avoid paying for nine credits of tuition waiver that way, which is a totally reasonable desire. The current problems that I see are (a) lack of subsidized health insurance and (b) lack of contract protections. (The fee differential doesn’t currently apply to summer anyway.) The OSU bargaining team always makes a big deal about summer being different than the rest of the year, and so far we haven’t prioritized working on summer stuff. That could very well change in the future – I imagine if the nine-credit requirement were changed, departments would be much more amenable to keeping grads on assistantships, unless there is some other piece I’m missing.