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by Lizz Hardardt, VP for Bargaining & Grievances
Even though we have not met OSU at the bargaining table yet, your Bargaining Team (BT) is already hard at work. Winter break was the perfect time to get started, we analyzed the survey results to see what issues are most important to our members. This round of contract negotiations is a reopener, meaning that we’re limited to 3 contract articles we can open. Still, we will be able to bargain for the vast majority of the major issues identified from the survey results. We will keep other issues raised on the survey in mind for future bargaining or alternative opportunities to address them, like our recent success collaborating with the administration on safety issues. The major issues your CGE BT will bargain to improve for OSU GTAs and GRAs this session are: 1) salary, 2) health insurance, 3) fees, and last but not least, 4) employment stability. Our platform is available on the website here http://cge6069.org/2014-cge-bargaining-platform/
Although we don’t want to give too much of our bargaining strategy away, here’s a little extra to whet your appetite. Your CGE BT will prove to OSU that GTAs and GRAs deserve:
Salary – cost of living adjustments, recognition in pay for primary instruction
Health Insurance – increased flexibility for premium payment, increased employer contribution, increased coverage
Fees – Summer fees, eCampus fees, strengthening the current fee agreement
Employment stability and benefits – Improving notice of and duration of appointments; childcare stipend; tuition benefits for dependents and family
Our power to bargain your contract depends on your support. Attend the sessions, offer witness testimony, or just tell your BT “thanks”.
Until bargaining starts, BT’s eager beavers are researching and strategizing the issues, particularly via trainings. Our internal team training had the benefit of CGE wisdom from CGE Emeritus (former president, lead negotiator, and member and current Alumni Supporter Extraordinaire) Rob Hess and our former organizer Dennis Dugan. In addition to learning some bargaining basics, we delved into CGE history and had a rousing mock session at the table (photos below). On February 21, we joined the OSU team and an arbitrator for training on Interest Based Bargaining (IBB). OSU and CGE have a history of mutual success in improving contracts with IBB. Next up, we’ll set ground rules with the administration and sit down at the table. Let the negotiations begin!
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