Next Friday (9/18) GAs will begin voting online on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) recently negotiated by GAU’s leadership and USF. The CBA is our graduate assistant labor/employee contract with USF. For the CBA to go into effect, GAs must vote to approve it. Due to the pandemic, our contract wins this year were fairly limited: the extension preserves minimum stipends at the same levels from the 2019-2020 academic year, increases the amount that USF pays for each GA’s health insurance premiums (which will cause the out of pocket expense for GAs to remain at $159 per year, rather than increasing to about $437 per year).
This CBA also implements some minor contract language changes (including a provision that all appointments should have the same start/end dates as faculty appointments, preventing departments from stealthily cutting GAs’ pay by shortening their appointments). We would have greatly preferred to win stipend increases and fully subsidized healthcare but, given the worldwide financial uncertainty, we believe that even treading water and living to fight another day is a win.
For a complete comparison of the changes this CBA would implement, the initialed red-line copy (which details the insertions, deletions, and changes compared to the existing CBA) can be found at https://www.usfgau.org/assets/GAU_MOU_8-13-2020_initialed.pdf. A clean copy, showing the what the new CBA would look like after the changes, can be found at https://www.usfgau.org/assets/GAU_MOU_8-13-2020_signed.pdf. The previous contract, which expired on June 30th, 2020, can be found at https://www.usfgau.org/assets/2017-2020-CBA-1.pdf.
Online voting procedure:
- All graduate assistants, regardless of GAU membership, are eligible to vote and are encouraged to do so.
- The ratification vote will be held from 12:00 AM (EDT) on Friday, September 18th, to 11:59 PM (EDT) on Monday, September 21st, 2020.
- Due to the health risk of an in-person election, voting will be conducted virtually via Helios Voting, which provides encrypted and verifiable online elections. All ballots are anonymous. Details on how to cast your vote will be sent to your USF email account. IF YOU ARE A GA AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN EMAIL ABOUT THE VOTE PROCEDURE YET, PLEASE EMAIL US AT USFGAU@GMAIL.COM SO WE CAN MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED!
- Ballots will be counted electronically during a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. This meeting will be recorded and posted to YouTube.
In order for the proposed changes to take effect, the CBA must be successfully ratified. If we do not approve the CBA, GAs will be charged $437/year for their health insurance premiums, rather than $159. So, please vote!