Monday’s session (April 25) was focused on contract language, for Article 9 (Appointments), Article 28 (Health Insurance), and Article 22 (Parking).

First, CGE submitted contract language for Length of Appointment (Article 9, Section 3). In keeping with our interest in reducing the number of term-to-term appointments, we added a number of conditions for term-to-term appointments, and required HR approval of term-to-term appointments if those conditions are not met. The conditions we outlined (where no special approval is needed for appointments for less than the academic year) include: spring or summer term appointments that will continue until the end of the academic year, or appointments where the graduate employee knows they will be graduating before the end of the academic year.

Although we did not propose language on Article 10 (Notice of Appointment/Notice of Assignment), Admin wanted to revisit the idea of hardship fees. They had some questions, such as how it will be managed, and what individual department operations will look like. Admin has been speaking to various colleges about this idea, and from what they tell us, there is a “predominant sense of caution” regarding the fees. Our ultimate interest is making sure graduate employees: 1) are informed about whether or not they actually have an appointment in a timely manner, and 2) know what their specific job will be each quarter in a timely manner. We’re still open to alternative ideas put forth by the Admin team, but have yet to hear anything other than a generally negative reaction to what we’ve put forth.

After a caucus, we moved on to Article 28 (Health Insurance). Admin resubmitted proposed contract language, as there were omissions in their previous draft. They remain unchanged regarding no change to premium coverage and no automatic re-enrollment of family members. In fact, the only changes in this version were the removal of automatic summer re-enrollment for graduate students, and an adjusted clause regarding failure to comply with the Article. Admin admitted that they have spoken with Student Health Services about summer auto-enrollment, and there is definitely a possibility that it can work. We think that requiring grad employees to fill out paperwork for just summer is a recipe for disaster, so we’re happy to see Admin doing some legwork on this.  We also asked about automatic re-enrollment of family members, and what barriers exist for this feature. Requiring paperwork to be filed each year for family members doesn’t make this process any easier just because the grad employee is auto-enrolled! Admin said they would talk to Student Health Services and PacificSource to see what options already exist.

Next, we moved on to Article 22 (Parking). Admin submitted their proposed contract language for this article, which removed the option we had proposed for grad employees with single term appointments to buy their parking permit with a pre-tax deduction.  It also removed the options to buy the permit during any quarter except Fall. Their rationale for this change is that OSU employees only have the option to do this in Fall, and so that’s how the system is set up. Admin also maintains that single term appointees cannot use this benefit, as temporary or single/short-term OSU employees also cannot purchase parking permits in this way.  Admin says they will look into the option of allowing single term appointees who have Fall term appointments to use this service.

After another caucus, we set the agenda for our next session on Friday, May 6. CGE will review and resubmit contract language on Article 28 (Health Insurance) and Article 31 (Child Care). We’re also planning to discuss Article 11 (Salary), Visa/SEVIS fees, and the summer tuition waiver (for real this time)!

Remaining Bargaining Dates:

Friday, May 6
Monday, May 9 *new*
Friday, May 13
Monday, May 16
Friday, May 27
Friday, June 3

All sessions are 2:15-4:00 PM in the McLean Room of Westminster House (101 NW 23rd).

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