We were advised during this week's bargaining session that the university may be prohibited from using state funds to provide fee waivers for the health and transportation fees. We are currently waiting for documentation of why state funds cannot be used for waivers and will respond to their informal proposal once we receive it. The university also informally offered to provide GAs this semester a lump sum payment in the form of a check/direct deposit equal to the amount of the health and transportation fees. We anticipate this would be paid as a reimbursement check some time before the end of the year. For Spring 2021 and beyond, this amount would be disbursed across all paychecks, according to the informal proposal.
In the meantime, we recommend not paying your fees immediately. We understand that it may be difficult for some to save for a lump payment in mid-November. The university has advised it will likely extend the deadline for payment to November 20th; we are working to reasonably resolve related fee issues by then and will update you accordingly!
You may also be curious whether the amount owed according to your Bursar account statement is accurate. Our team has done some research and made persistent requests for information related fees calculation from the Bursar. What we've learned is that fees should be at least $81.96 per credit hour for in-person courses and independent/supervised/directed research credits. Fees for courses delivered remotely may be more than $81.96 per credit hour if a distance learning fee is assessed. However, we're told the distance learning fee varied from department to department and college to college. If the amount of fees you owe is more than $81.96 per credit hour and you are taking a course delivered through Zoom, then you are advised to contact your department and college to ask for the amount of any distance learning fees assessed on these courses.
We understand that fee charges in your Bursar account this semester are confusing. Your union is keeping active communication with the Bursar as well as other representatives to make sense of it all. We are starting to get more answers and will keep you informed of new developments as we move forward. Thank you for your patience and stay tuned for more updates soon.
Collective bargaining is the process by which labor unions negotiate with employers to reach a contract on terms of employment, including salary, health care, benefits, and workplace safety. Each year, GAU bargains with UF over such terms.