TLDR: Another high turnout from the CGE membership, as CGE’s bargaining team presented proposals and graduate employees gave testimony about unfair working conditions. The OSU bargaining team had a lot of nothing to say, refusing to engage with any proposals presented so far. Join us for the 3rd session, next Friday, Nov. 15, 2:00-5:00pm at Westminster House.

At the second bargaining session of the 2019-2020 academic year another large crowd of graduate employees worked the session into their schedules, many fitting it in between performing the work that keeps OSU running. Though apparently interested in salary discussion, Provost Ed Feser didn’t join us, despite a direct invitation from CGE. The CGE bargaining team introduced a new round of proposals and organized supporting testimony from membership. OSU’s team showed a complete lack of engagement in the bargaining process, seeming cautious over upsetting the crowd.

This session opened with a testimony presented via telephone by a graduate employee working in Portland, who expressed disappointment at being, in effect, excluded from their contract bargaining process. Despite this testimony the OSU team was incredulous at the idea of revisiting the livestreaming issue, even demanding an audience member stop taking pictures on grounds it was illegal without their consent. While CGE does not encourage members to breach the ground rules in this way, it is in fact not illegal to openly photograph a public space. Without a mutual agreement to revisit the ground rules, the CGE negotiators moved on to introducing proposals for contract changes, these included changes to:

  1. Article 2 Recognition – Including increases to minimum appointments;
  2. Article 8 Union Rights – Including increases to release time and Union use of University space; expands orientation time from 15 to 90 minutes;
  3. Articles 9 & 10, Appointments & Work Assignment – Including more advance notice of work assignments and expanding graduate-employee positions to 12-month appointments;
  4. Article 13 Summer Session – Including financial support through an Educator Summer Savings Fund for those with gaps in appointments;
  5. Article 15 Evaluation – Including more helpful evaluation from, and of, employing units;
  6. Article 22 Transportation – Including expanded bus routes, bike repair reimbursement, and monetary incentives for commuting via modes free of fossil fuels.

View the full details of the proposals on the bargaining page.

The OSU bargaining team refused to address any proposals from the previous session or this one. Even after caucusing for nearly an hour, they claimed to have a lot to say, but need much longer to choose their words carefully. OSU’s team presented one proposal on Article 19— Consultation/Labor Management Meetings, addressing our meetings with the Assistant Provost of Academic Employee and Labor Relations to discuss matters of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Testimonies shared by members expressed their anger and frustration at OSU over the hardships that they have endured. These included the precarity of summer session, and the direct effect of healthcare on graduate-employee energy, focus, and ability to function. In addition to these, the final testimony spoke to the condescension and disregard of the bargaining process shown by Ed Feser and Mike Green’s recent email regarding compensation for employees across the University. These testimonies were motivated by the unfair treatment and compensation graduate employees routinely receive while serving to create value for OSU. The OSU team responded to all these testimonies by thanking the members for their anger, a response which some have considered patronizing.

Join us at the next session and show administration that graduate employees won’t be condescended to and patronized. We won’t be placated with token acknowledgement of struggles when these struggles were created by OSU’s own inadequate policies and compensation. Come stand in solidarity with graduate employees across the University and demand a strong contract. CGE will be presenting proposals on Grievances, Non-discrimination, and more at the next session,  Friday, Nov. 15 2:00-5:00pm at Westminster House and stay tuned for the upcoming session Friday, Dec. 6 2:00-5:00pm.