Pre-bargaining 2015

We are approaching bargaining. What follows is a summary of concerns regarding our CBA, supplemented with some results from the bargaining survey. (All results are from the 2015 survey unless otherwise noted.)

This page is still being updated. Please check every few days for updates!

Thanks to the 171 of you who responded to our survey! According to you, here are our priorities, in order of urgency:

  1. Raising wages
  2. Alleviating fees
  3. **Dental care
  4. Summer appointments
  5. **Family medical leave
  6. Relaxing moonlighting policies

See this graph to check out where you stand. We took the concern that received the tallest color bar before moving to the next nth choice.

bargaining prorities N171**Due to the need to find more information on existing policies, it looks like we will not be pursuing dental (3) and leave (5) in this year’s reopener. See reasons below.


  • Last year, we asked for an increase of $700 across the board, for both master’s and PhD students.
  • Should there be a difference between master’s and PhD students in stipend?
  • We first need to determine how many are at minimum stipend.

Article 23

Data: Minimum Stipend



GAs from some departments report not getting a 100% tuition waiver. We will need offer letters to prove this. You may also send an offer letter to the secretary Tanya de Dios at Please redact any personal identifiers before emailing to us.

Article 2

Article 12 – Where will “100% of tuition shall be covered” go?

Data: Offer Letters

Here is an example:

screenshot PSY-first-year-acceptance-2013


  • We pay ~$800 per semester on average, though this combines tuition and fees.
    • If we asked for an $800 rebate per semester, that’s $1600 in a year.
    • Times 2200 GAs, this is ~$3.5 M total that USF can set aside for us
  • Is a rebate more realistic than a waiver? Would admin say the accounting is too hard?
  • Do we even bring up fees? Or do we just for the rebate as if it’s similar to a bonus?

Article 23

Basic Life Expenses

To support the argument that we need higher wages or relief from fees, we gathered information regarding typical things a GA must spend on. Almost half of a GA’s typical expenses are spent on rent. Average monthly living expenses sum up to $1,476.265.

In a regular working year (9 months): $13,286.34. Per semester: $6,643.17.

ave monthly expenses 2013

Data from 2013 survey.

In the 2015 survey, the average amount spent on rent was $677.14, roughly the same as the 2013 data. We didn’t ask to further break down expenses in to utilities and car insurance. So when discussing life expenses at the table, we can use the 2013 data.

Summer Appointments

There is currently no language in our contract exclusively about summer appointments. Do most GAs get a summer appointment? Do they get this notice early enough or were people finding out too late?

Data: Survey

We first wanted to find out whether our respondents got appointments this summer. Two-thirds of the 171 who responded got appointments.


On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = Not important, 5 = Very important), 80% of GAs rated 5 when asked “How important is summer employment of any means (whether or not through the university) to you?”

GAs with Summer Appointments


We asked the summer-appointed GAs if they would take on supplemental employment even though they got appointments. 63% (74 people) of the 117 said no, 37% (43 people) said yes. The ones who planned on taking supplemental employment all indicated that they are doing so because the current summer appointment through the university does not pay enough.

We also found that most GAs who got summer appointments received notice in April, and that they were notified in time.


Yes.SU15.Notified.Adequate.TimeGAs without Summer Appointments

No.SU15.Taking.EmploymentWe asked GAs who did not get any appointment in Summer 2015 whether they intended to take on summer employment or are currently taking on any. More than half of these 54 GAs responded “Yes”. A lot of these GAs also received notice of their non-reappointment in April, and more than half agreed that the time that their notice was given was adequate.




Dental and Vision

  • Dental care is worth going for it we are not creating a new article.
    • Consider putting dental under health
  • There is currently a university-sponsored dental health plan that students can purchase. We should get more info on this before drafting language around dental coverage.
  • There is potential to undermine the 100% healthcare coverage if we include dental as a voucher, etc., under it

Article 23 or New Article covering employee benefits


  • We need to collect data on leave going forward
  • Need better sense of how people want it changed — should we go for paid leave?
  • Requires more development and info-finding, so probably not one to address in this year’s opener.
  • What are expectations for the department based on the language we have now?
  • Look to other contracts’ sick leave

Article 10


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