TLDR: CGE is ready to bargain on issues that matter to graduate employees, but OSU is refusing to start negotiations early enough to prevent 2020 bargaining sessions from extending into the summer.

The Coalition of Graduate Employees is gearing up to start bargaining for the 2019-2020 academic year! We have a 23(!)-member team working on proposals covering salary increases, access to affordable housing, childcare, gender-neutral restroom and locker room access, summer funding, equitable workloads, parking benefits, and more. Exciting stuff!

Historically, bargaining sessions have extended past the academic year into the Summer term, which is disruptive both for CGE and OSU. Bargaining team members graduate or travel for fieldwork (we are graduate students after all!), which breaks the cohesion and regularity of bargaining table discussion. It also increases paperwork and hassle for OSU when they have to issue back pay to graduate employees after the new contract is ratified. For these reasons we feel it would be best for bargaining to commence in October.

To get the ball rolling, we’ve submitted to OSU our official letter of intent to negotiate a successor agreement to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, but they have so far refused to meet with us to begin negotiations. They stated that requests to negotiate a successor agreement are to be made in November 2019 (even though our contract allows for negotiations to begin sooner by mutual agreement). This is disappointing, but we have a strategy for helping OSU to see that it is our mutual interest to commence bargaining before November.