In attendance: Thomas Morrill, Stephanie Parreira, Clint Mattox, Chris Mihiar, Vance Almquist, Kris Osterloh; special guests Meghann Fenn, Riki York; B-Team member Dixie Daniels; Ashley Bromley, Angela McClendon; unwelcome guest Power Outage.
Meeting called to order at 5:05 PM
Minutes from 4-7-2016 – Approved.
Email Decisions – (1) Approved all-member email. (2) Approved advising Sami (member running for state legislature) to speak during the open floor portion of the GMM.
AFT Higher Ed Debrief – Meghann and Riki were CGE’s delegates to the AFT Higher Ed/PSRP conference two weekends ago. They each attended a bunch of different workshops and took notes on what they found most useful. Riki felt like the most important information she got from it was from the student debt clinic: there are a LOT of teachers who don’t know they’re eligible for partial student loan debt forgiveness. She also thought it was cool to have conversations with people from lots of different regions. Meghann learned a lot about university investments (and OSU’s in particular) and how much they pay (millions) to managers for hedge funds that don’t actually go back toward student services – just live in the hedge funds indefinitely. [We think this info would be very interesting to our ASJU/ASAP allies.] She also learned that one university (in Michigan, she thinks) just got a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers, and she learned about how unions can support transgender students through negotiating for coverage in grad employee health insurance plans.
AFT-Oregon Convention Debrief – All four of the CGE resolutions passed! Kris was surprised how contentious one resolution seemed (creating a vetting process for Convention location). Chris provides some context: it came right after CGE’s accountability resolution, and the AFT-OR EC may have felt “attacked.” Also, the ruling of pass/no pass (called out ayes and nays) for each of the resolutions was not a very clear pass, but the Convention chair passed both of them. Ashley’s feeling is that the chair just wanted to get business done, and that it may have been “obvious” to some that the ayes really did carry. Thomas also provides some context regarding GTFF’s late resolutions that weren’t submitted in a very friendly spirit (perhaps for good reason). We all think it would be a good idea for CGE to help GTFF get their resolutions submitted on time in future years. We’ll schedule the whole-group debrief for 5 PM next Monday, the 18th.
Bargaining Update – So far this term, we’ve had sessions on April 4th and 11th. OSU’s admin team brought back their responses to CGE’s proposals. They did agree with us on several points, including some of the international student support ideas and offering pre-tax paycheck deductions for parking permits (for grads on 12- and 9-month assistantships, but not term-to-term). They said “No!” on our child care matching – they just struck through every line on the page. They told us on the 4th that it’s because the company they use to manage the accounts for staff/faculty is not willing to do the same for grad employees. We learned on the 11th that it’s because of some tricky federal regulation regarding student time vs. work time. The admin team does want to go forward with automatic health insurance re-enrollment for grad employees (but not for families) for academic year (but not for summer). Although they didn’t agree with CGE’s proposal to increase annual COLA’s from 2% to 2.25%, they backed off from their initial proposal of just taking away COLA’s. They don’t want to cement PhD candidacy raises into contract language, preferring to let individual departments decide whether to offer those. Finally, they proposed jumping immediately to 0.3 FTE minimum appointments in fall 2017, as opposed to CGE’s proposal of going up to 0.3 FTE with steps over a few years. We have some concern that a jump of that size may risk decreasing the number of assistantships offered – even potentially causing current grads to lose support – but the admin team said OSU can cover the difference for those departments that have smaller budgets. We’ll continue talking with them about it. Next session is this Friday the 15th at 2:15 PM.
Sick Leave Timesheets – An email went out to grads in the College of Agriculture (like last week’s email to Engineering) saying that everyone has to fill out timesheets to track sick leave/substitute hours but – again – in rather unclear language. Meghann says that in the College of Public Health, grads were told that they don’t have to fill anything out! (Maybe they plan to have admin staff fill in the zeroes.) Ashley is attempting to communicate with OSU HR to get better information sent out.
Letter to UNB Board – Stephanie wrote this letter. Officers will read it and make a decision over email.
Fair Share Back Charges – One of the people who contacted us responded to Ashley to say “yes please” to the refund and also that she was indeed receiving the contract benefits before she was paying fair share. After this came up last week, Angela found a few other grad employees in the same situation who had not contacted us. The EC agrees that we should also offer the refund of the back-charged fees to those grads. Ashley will contact them.
GMM – This is next Thursday, April 21st.
- Agenda: Officer nominations, speeches, and voting; presentation from Tori Byington from the Grad School; bargaining update and input; steward nominations; and Convention update.
- Bargaining input method: We’ll have very brief table talks about our open interests, then we’ll have the whole group participate in standing up/sitting down based on where people would be willing to settle. For example, on health insurance premiums, we’ll ask people to sit down if they’re willing to settle at 85% coverage, then 90%, then 95%, and so on.
- Food: Last week we decided on pasta, with some salad and bread. Vance has opinions on the sauces so he’ll help Ashley with the shopping list. Then Kris and Chris will go shopping on Wednesday. On Thursday, Vance, Kris, Clint, and perhaps Zhian will cook.
- Turnout: We’ve been inviting people during office visits. We’ll send all-member emails on the 14th and the 20th. Individual reminders will go on the 21st. Vance will email the SC list on Monday the 18th to remind them to invite their areas. We’ll continue inviting folks on the fb event.
Officer Elections – Everyone needs to find their replacements! And everyone needs to encourage others to nominate people. So far, only one person has submitted nominations. The EC are all in support of the idea of nominees being allowed to run for multiple positions.
PSU Home Visits – We were going to have a bunch of folks help with PSU grad home visits this last Sunday afternoon, but Convention ran really long and we ran out of time. Let’s try again! We’ll aim for Saturday, April 23rd. The EC agrees to reimburse members for mileage again, and to provide a lunch allowance if the campaign isn’t already planning to provide lunch. We’ll ask people from the post-Convention list.
PNW Labor History Conference – We received a letter in the mail about the PNW Labor History Association’s annual conference in Portland in May. The conference title this year is “Labor, Justice, and the Environment: Historical Insights, Alliances, and Challenges.” Kris thinks it sounds interesting and would like more information. Angela will look online tomorrow when (we hope) the power will be back.
Meeting adjourned at 6:47 PM