About Our Fees Campaign
Fees force employees to “pay to work,” which is especially true of graduate assistants who are no longer taking classes but only working on their research and teaching. Fees are also an underhanded way to get around the full tuition waiver that our contract guarantees to all GAs. The University cannot charge us tuition, so they charge us fees instead. The same argument has been made by the Florida Board of Governors, the body that oversees the operations of the State University system.
To make matters worse, there is very little transparency about how the fees are used by UF. The University itemizes fees to an extent, but it is unclear how the collected money is actually spent. The correlation between fee increases and budget cuts would seem to indicate that fees aren’t really spent on what UF claims they are spent on, but are simply used as a revenue stream to make up for lost state funds!
GAU has fought for and won "fee relief" in recent contracts. This is money in addition to raises that helps GAs deal with the burden that fees place on their finances. While this money does not cover the full cost of fees, each year we fight for increasing relief for fees. Additionally, since many of the fees are mandated by the state of Florida, we are fighting for legislation that decreases fees for graduate students state-wide, On both of these fronts, we need your help and involvement!