February 14, 2017
Your GAU bargaining team is negotiating for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement – which covers all GA working conditions at SIU. The team has been bargaining for quite for close three years, unfortunately due to the state budget crisis we have been in a bit of a holding pattern.
The bargaining team has been working and had some successes. We have agreed with the university to including non-discrimination language in the contract. We have clarified how vacation works – giving everyone on a yearlong appointment 12 days – allowing international students or those with families far from Illinois the ability to go for a visit. We have created new language to protect letters offered to incoming GAs offering multiple years of funding. We also are fairly close on an agreement to be able finish the contract but then be to bargain for salaries if the state gives a budget to the university.
We are still bargaining on other matters. The biggest issues remains fees – we have gone back and forth with the administration many times, but they argue against doing anything about them, especially given the budget. We are also working on GAs having work more hours than for which they paid, the number of credit hours you have to work to be eligible to be a GA, and having departments determine GA’s eligibility for assistantship rather than the central administration.
We are hoping we can wrap up bargaining this semester.
Bargaining a contract is important to GA working conditions. The union’s recent success in bringing back 75% appointments in large part to the efforts of previous bargaining teams which gave us good language to grieve.
If you want more information about bargaining or want to come observe a bargaining session, please let us know. Or you can come see us during a happy hour.