At Thursday’s session, we finally heard OSU’s initial financial proposal, and it was…mostly pretty OK. Here’s what OSU proposed, along with a quick reaction from the CGE team:
- Minimum Salary: Adjust the minimum salary rate so that—over some, as yet undefined, period of time—people working at least 0.40 FTE will be brought to the $1719/month living wage. We don’t know yet how many stages OSU envisions enacting this change over, but it will represent an eventual 21% increase to the minimum salary rate. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: 21% is great…as long as we can accomplish it in a few steps/years.
- Minimum FTE for People Teaching Their Own Classes: Establish a 0.30 minimum FTE for people solely responsible for teaching a class (not just those given the title of Instructor of Record). CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: 0.30 is a lot better than 0.20, but 0.375 (15 hours/week) is what we’ve consistently heard people need to teach these classes.
- Raises at Academic Milestones: 2% raises for people who pass certain academic milestones. It’s not entirely clear yet which milestones will be used, but there would be 2 raises over the course of a PhD. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: Two 2% raises won’t even keep up with cost of living changes over the course of a PhD, so they aren’t exactly raises, they just partially offset de facto pay cuts we’re already taking.
- Cost of Living Adjustments: Nothing. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: We still need cost of living raises to offset the de facto pay cut we otherwise take as cost of living rises and wages stay the same.
- Partner & Dependent Premiums: Increase OSU’s contribution to premiums from 50% to 85% for partners and dependents enrolled on the plan. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: It’s not the 95% other OSU & UO employees receive, but this is a substantial change that will greatly impact the lives of our members.
- Employee Premiums: No change. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: We need to see some movement on this.
- Academic Year Fees: Remit at 90% starting Fall 2015. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: Moving to a percentage and upping the remission a little are great, but we see no reason to wait more than a year to make the change.
- Summer Fees: Remit at 90% starting Summer 2015. CGE Bargaining Team Reaction: Summer fee remission is great, but again, we’d like to see this happen sooner to help folks faced with high fee bills this summer.
- Child Care Stipend Program: Nothing. CGE Bargaining Team Response: We need to get something in the contract to offset child care costs.
- Partner/Dependent Tuition Benefit: Nothing. CGE Bargaining Team Response: We’d like to see OSU do something to offset the costs for dual student families.
Overall, we felt that OSU offered a pretty decent initial proposal, especially with respect to the minimum salary, partner/dependent health insurance, and summer fee remission. We were discouraged to see that cost of living adjustments and child care weren’t addressed, but we’ll be sure to keep pushing on those in our counterproposal. Come out to bargaining this Friday 1-3pm to see how we counter this offer. If you have any feedback, be sure to email us at email@example.com and let us know what’s most important to you.