There are Major Proposed Changes to Your Contract!
GAU and the University have bargained a new contract (or Collective Bargaining Agreement) that will cover your employment from 2018-2020 after a ratification vote.
In order to provide you with information on what is new in this contract, the GAU Bargaining Team has summarized the major changes proposed to the articles below. To see the previous contract language, please reference the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Raises & Fees
Leaves of Absence
Appointments, Reappointments & Terminations
Misc. Free Speech Provision
Raises & Fees (Article 10)
- The minimum salary for GAs on a .5 FTE with a 9-month appointment has been increased to $16,000, $21,333.33 for those on a 12-month appointment with .5 FTE, and proportionally for those with different FTEs and appointment durations (e.g. $8,000 for GAs with a 9-month appointment at .25 FTE).
- Each continuing employee (i.e. GAs who had appointments in the Fall semester of 2017) will see a raise of $550 effective January 1, 2018, as well as a second raise of $250 effective January 1, 2019. The second raise will also apply to those GAs who did not receive their first appointment until the Spring 2018 semester.
- All GAs will receive fee relief of $100 effective January 1, 2018, as well as a second installment of $100 in fee relief effective August 15, 2018. Similar to raises, this fee relief will be added to the base salary of GAs.
- The Summer A, B, and C fee due date is moved to July 21.
Healthcare (Article 12)
- Graduate Assistants will pay a premium of $10 per month for health insurance beginning in August 2018. This additional cost is necessary to avoid egregious deductible and copay/coinsurance increases and has been offset by historically high salary raises and fee relief.
- Dependent care rates and copays have been decreased. There is a 5% cap to increases in these rates for duration of the agreement.
- Insurance will continue to be provided for that summer months for GAs without a summer appointment who are anticipated to return in the fall semester.
- More comprehensive explanations of the changes to GatorGradCare can be found here.
Discrimination Protections (Article 13)
- Anti-discrimination protections have been extended to gender identity and “any other category protected by law.”
Academic Freedom (Article 9)
- The academic freedoms afforded to GAs have been clarified, which includes the freedoms to: discuss all matters relevant to the curriculum in the classroom, pursue any and all avenues of research, creative expression, speak freely on university policy and governance.
Leave of Absence (Article 8)
- GAs will now be allowed to take a leave of absence to pursue research related to their academic program with University or departmental approval.
Employee Evaluation File (Article 6)
- Departments will not be allowed to terminate or punish GAs based on material in their evaluation files unless the GA has had an opportunity to respond, in writing, to any negative feedback.
- GAs are now allowed one free copy of all the contents of their file
Appointments, Reappointments, and Terminations (Article 4)
- GAs without Summer semester appointments will now be eligible for an appointment as a “Summer RA” for a summer semester, with university or departmental approval. These appointments require no work, no credit hours, no fees, and are intended to fund GAs while they work on their personal research in those months.
- The amount of student fees owed by GAs will now be included in the letter of appointment
Copyright Protections (Article 14)
- Copyright protections that are currently afforded to other UF staff are now extended to GAs and codified.
Miscellaneous Provision Involving Free Speech (Article 19)
- A vague and troublesome provision that potentially forbade GAs and GAU from exercising their right to petition government and representatives has been stricken from the contract.