CGE met with the employer for the fourth time Monday, April 5th. The agenda was spare: Discussion on Article 9 – Appointments and Article 11 – Workload.
Article 11 – Workload
The main discussion here was regarding CGE’s proposal in Section 3, which deals with the cap on the number of hours that can be assigned for a given FTE. Based on comments the employer’s team had made during the previous sessions, the CGE team revised our proposal. Essentially, we are concerned that people are working 13 weeks’ worth of hours during the 11-week academic quarter.
We had come to the table with a proposal that would prohibit people from working more than 11 weeks’ worth of hours during the 11-week quarter, but OSU interpreted the way we had presented it as giving units the option to pay people for 11 weeks and not 13. The only faculty member in the room suggested rewording the proposal, and after some discussion in a caucus amongst our team and observers, the team agreed that it was a good idea. We proposed, verbally, two additions to the current table of FTE and hours: That no graduate employee be asked to work more than 85% of their appointment during the 11-week term, and that no graduate employee work more than 15% of their total assigned hours in one week (for a 0.49 FTE, 15% is 38 hours). These were closely based on the suggestions from the faculty member on the employer’s team. They agreed to respond with a written proposal at the next session.
There was also discussion of giving grad employees more tools to advocate for themselves in case they are on track to exceed their hours; the employer’s team seemed receptive to the ideas put forth by the CGE team. Overall, the bargaining team is pleased with the progress made on this subject so far.
Article 9 – Appointments
The major proposal of CGE’s in this article was to require the 25-30 non-academic units that hire graduate assistants to post the positions in a central location, so that grads seeking employment knew where to look. (As a side benefit, we think that doing this will increase the quality of the applicant pool for these positions, which benefits the units doing the hiring. It’s really a win-win.) The employer’s team balked strongly at this idea, claiming that it was too much work. When the CGE team offered to host the job listings on the union’s website, the objection suddenly became that the employer didn’t have the authority to compel departments to send CGE information about open GA positions.
The CGE team is skeptical of both claims, given that the university does full hiring for both classified staff and faculty and can compel departments to allow CGE to present at orientations. However, we are committed to the underlying goal of the proposal: To increase transparency and accessibility in hiring. We’ll continue to work with the employer to find a way to do this.
We are working with the employer to schedule another session and set the agenda. We’ll let you know when we have something scheduled.