Fall GMM Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2018


First order of business:

Victory Announcements: –

  • CPT/OPT minimum credit enrollment has changed from 3 credits to 1 while on a vacation term. CGE members have pushed OSU to make this change for 2 years! The university could have made this change long ago, and after a lot of labor and advocacy CGE has secured an agreement for this change from OSU that will impact International Grads in the realm of thousands of dollars.
  • Dues We Pay To Our Parent Union We had a team of CGE delegates help push for a progressive change in our “percaps” (dues we pay to AFT-Oregon). Instead of a tiered system we are now on a percentage system. This means we will keep upwards of $20,000-$30,000 of our members’ annual dues locally within CGE- so a huge change for our in a post-Janus union!

Member Discussion & Open Floor:

We had facilitated conversations at each table over a number of topics, and we debriefed highlights from these conversations as a larger group. These are the notes from what we discussed together.

  • Retirement plan is desired
    1. A steward from Soil Science discussed their experience with Vanguard retirement investment from a previous employer.
      1. Why couldn’t CGE members be able to pay into OSU’s retirement plan that already exists?
      2. One participant reported that they were told we are currently not able to sign up for retirement b/c we are “students” (No, we’re employees!)
  • Discussed benefits of being able to start at a younger age a retirement plan – esp. doctoral students could benefit
  1. ROTH IRAs – $5,500 per year—were also discussed
    1. If we can get matched funds via OSU that would be great
  2. ACORN app – can invest even small amounts of money
  3. This is something we will likely take on as a bargaining issue!
  • Disability Justice
    1. CGE needs a caucus to address issues pertaining to disability justice
      1. Disability access services has an office on campus, but they are only a compliance office and not about justice.
      2. OSU is cutting off bits of campus via the Beaver Bus creating an access problem
  • Broader issues that need to be addressed in regards to disability justice, so a proposal was made to create this caucus.
  1. Will be discussed at our Caucus Day event on Nov. 1, 3-5pm at Westminster House.
  1. Question was asked of who can join a CGE caucus
    1. Context-specific. The members who participate in a caucus will decide who is eligible, when the caucus meets, and how it governs itself so long as it adheres to our union’s core principles of promoting social justice and zero tolerance for discrimination.
    2. Only CGE members can participate and decide who is eligible to meet, caucuses are not open to non-members to make decisions (but non-members can be present in meetings if the caucus decides that’s acceptable- they cannot vote on things because CGE decisions are made by members).
  • Housing Concerns
    1. Difficult find housing when moving to town as a first year grad.
    2. Proposed idea of creating a website review of landlords around town for public awareness.
      1. CGE is working on this for our website
      2. Could create a website for students only
        1. Landlords had to pay small fee to list on the internet at a different location
      3. Housing cooperatives can provide solidarity and cheaper rent
      4. Getting housing from abroad is very difficult – need to work toward this for international students in particular
      5. AFT-OR has started a working group on housing cooperatives based on a resolution at last year’s convention brought forward by CGE
        1. AFT-OR holds an annual convention where decisions are made that direct the activities of our parent union for the following year. Each local (CGE is a local of AFT-OR) sends a number of delegates to these conventions. Elections coming in Winter term!
  • Union Facts For All CGE members
    1. A steward expressed that our “steward toolkit” is tailored mostly for our steward representatives, and that we should work to create a similar resource for all our members that can include pertinent information and persuasive facts about how CGE improve work conditions and the quality of life for all workers at OSU.
      1. We have a Member Handbook online and in print that could be a starting point for this project.
  • Departments Information Sharing
    1. Proposed that we try to work with departments to receive information about incoming grads to help them with questions they may
  • Child Care Services At OSU (Beaver Beginnings)
    1. The wait list is roughly two years on average- outrageous!
    2. Our Working Parents Caucus will be a necessary vehicle to address this issue and improve the availability of child care services at OSU.

Ratification Vote:

We signed a tentative agreement with OSU for changes in our collective bargaining agreement (CBA, or “contract”). Members get the final say to approve or reject the negotiated changes. Below is a break-down of how our voting system works and some highlights from bargaining.

  • Every member gets an email from CGE through Survey Monkey containing an online ballot. Each person has only one ballot and yes or no vote. Vote is open for one week, and closes Friday, 10/26.
  • Did not win child care benefits asks, no expansions on gender neutral restrooms on campus (every building), did not get language around substituting for other workers at OSU during strike scenarios.
  • Wins: 4% minimum earner raises, SEVIS/VISAS fee reimbursement increases to $500 that can cover families, stronger non-discrimination language in CBA, Hourly work changes so the interpretation is clearer to keep us covered (supplemental work for your fte, summer session, and work that does not fall under GTA/GRA roles, Letter of Agreement for DACA recipients. OSU will publish resources made by AFT for DACA resources and OSU will not impede on the recipients concerns.

Bargaining questions:

We are opening our full contract next year.

Should people show up to bargaining sessions?

YES, this is so beneficial for our ability to bargain successfully and it helps you see what your bosses actually think of you.

When do bargaining sessions take place and how long are they?

Typically they are every 2 weeks and run for 2 hours. That is determined by the OSU and CGE

bargaining teams and will be posted on our website calendar.


Open Forum:

Sami Al-Abdrubbah talked about CGE helping him as a new graduate student.

International Grad spoke about being on their final term, and being moved from an appointment to hourly work which triggered a cost in their health insurance of $750 since they were not covered anymore.

SEIU Rummage and Bake Sale in Albany

May the 4th Be With You Brew Off looking for artwork for the merchandise like shirts and pint glasses.

SEIU has a hardship fund, CGE can potentially create our own version of this.

Meeting closed: 7:47