TLDR: OSU’s bargaining team failed to uphold diversity and inclusion by refusing to allow recording or live-streaming of bargaining sessions. Despite this, CGE’s bargaining team and a large, supportive audience ensured the session was a victory for graduate employees. Next session is November 5, 1:00-4:00pm at Westminster House. #chillingeffect

CGE and OSU sat down to our first bargaining session of the 2019-2020 academic year. High graduate-employee turnout, gripping audience-member testimony, and bold new proposals appeared to leave OSU’s bargaining team shook by the end of the 3-hour session. 

CGE presented six proposals to OSU during the session:

  1. Changes to Article 11 (Salary) including a 6% pay raise for all graduate employees (the same pay raise that OSU President Ed Ray routinely receives), childcare benefits, class-size caps for graduate employees teaching their own classes, and OSU contributions to the Hardship Fund created by CGE last year.
  2. Changes to Article 12 (Tuition Waiver) including 100% fee remission; coverage of all visa, SEVIS, and DACA fees; and reduction of the credit enrollment requirement for having an assistantship.
  3. Changes to Article 28 (Insurance) including 100% coverage of graduate employees’ insurance premiums and post-appointment insurance coverage.
  4. Article X (Mandatory and Paid Training) including paid professional development trainings for teaching and research assistants and mandatory anti-harassment, anti-discrimination trainings for graduate-employee supervisors.
  5. Article Y (Housing) including a $300 per month housing stipend for all graduate employees and the creation of an Affordable Housing Development Committee comprised of representatives from OSU and CGE.
  6. Article Z (Family Leave and Policies) including up to six months of paid family leave at 100% salary rate and increased access to University drop-off childcare facilities. 

While we are excited and pleased to have presented these proposals to OSU’s bargaining team, we were disappointed by their refusal to allow any bargaining sessions to be recorded or live-streamed. Despite CGE’s offered concessions of having only audio livestreams and/or using OSU’s Zoom platform exclusively, they refused any compromise, despite the fact that the bargaining sessions are open to the public and that it is legal to film public events. CGE argued that refusing to livestream meant discriminating against graduate employees who may not otherwise be able to access bargaining sessions, such as those who are parents, have disabilities, or live outside or Corvallis. OSU’s team responded by claiming they “[didn’t] feel it was discrimination,” that live-streaming “could have a chilling effect on negotiations,” and that they wanted members of their team “to feel comfortable.” OSU’s refusal to allow any recording or livestream of bargaining sessions is another example of their willingness to give lip service to diversity and inclusion while opposing the very steps needed to uphold these values.

Despite OSU’s refusal to allow audio or video live-streaming, Thursday’s bargaining session was a victory for graduate employees. We clearly demonstrated that we are organized and will exercise our strength in numbers. Let’s take the momentum we’ve built and carry it into our next session: Tuesday, November 5 from 1-4 PM at Westminster House.