Our 10th bargaining session turned out to be a quite significant turning point. OSU’s team led the meeting off announcing that OSU’s administration agreed to CGE’s proposal to 50% employer contribution to dependent and partner health insurance, and agreed to 3% raises to the base minimum salary through 2014. With OSU’s previous commitment to cover about 85% of fees and increase summer health insurance contributions to 85%, CGE and OSU’s bargaining teams essentially have an agreement on all major economic matters. In summary:

  • OSU will cover 85% of the current costs of fees, along with 100% of the matriculation and international student orientation fee. Essentially, this will amount to increasing the differential from $300/term to $430/term. However, OSU agrees that it is in everyone’s best interest to directly remit any fees except any that federal grant agencies don’t allow to be covered. The new differential will then be $430 minus any fees OSU is able to directly remit.
  • The minimum salary will increase from $3000/month @1.0FTE, to $3350/month this Fall. It will increase by 3% for the following two years bringing it to $3550 in 2014.
  • OSU’s contribution to summer health insurance premiums will increase from 50% to 85%.
  • OSU will also contribute 85% towards health insurance premiums during a [yet to be defined] family-medical leave absence.
  •  OSU will contribute 50% towards premiums of dependent and partners.

CGE’s bargaining team and all observing members this Tuesday were very happy with this final deal. While several other matters remain unresolved in the contract negotiations, these key financial items represent the most contentious and meaningful aspect of bargaining. After we finish working out all other matters, our team will summarize all proposed changes to the contract and circulate them to CGE’s membership. Remember, nothing is final until CGE’s membership ratifies the contract!

The rest of Tuesday’s session was dedicated to agreeing to what remains unresolved in the contract. We continued discussions from last week on Article 8, Union Rights. In sum, OSU wants to more clearly define our rights to University email being for CGE business only, and we want access to office locations to make contacting our members easier. We also discussed our interest in putting some reasonable restrictions on when an employee can be asked to come into work, such as not in early morning hours or on holiday’s/weekends.

What is left? We meet again Friday for the last time until July from 9am -1pm in MU 208. We will discuss adding an article to address Academic Freedom and some concerns about the 12 credit minimum enrollment. After that we will see what articles we are generally in agreement on so we can get to work crafting final contract language over the next two weeks. When we come back together in July we will have to resolve any outstanding issues we couldn’t come to agreement on by the end of the week.

Although the basic components of financial issues have been worked out, we still encourage members to come out to bargaining sessions. Member feedback during caucuses is very important for us to know what issues we need to push. Also, let us know what you think about the current economic package. No one from CGE’s team or OSU’s team wants us to agree to a contract that our membership will reject!

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