GAU Bargaining: What’s At Stake

SIUC Graduate Assistants: The Status Quo is NOT a good deal for you! On March 8, Chancellor Cheng’s bargaining team issued its “Final Offer” to your union (Graduate Assistants United) and notified us that there was “no more bargaining.” We believe the administration can do better!

Here is what is at stake:

Keep Status Quo: GAU Position:
Student fees will increase reducing your take home pay A fee freeze, you will pay at AY10-11 levels for life of contract
NO Stipend Increase this Year FY 11 We agree
NO future stipend increases We propose the lesser of Faculty Association % raise or $100 a month in FY12 and beyond
Health insurance fees will continue to increase Insurance fees paid as an employee benefit; increase opt-out options for Medicare, medical and veteran coverage
Health insurance coverage will remain inadequate and unfair with nothing for assistants with dependents Reduce deductible from $1,000 to $250 per year; honor pre-existing conditions; dependent coverage available; GAU is a partner in reviewing and improving plan
Individual contracts at the whim of department Specifies multi-year appointments options linked with 2 or 4 year funding allowances
Continue to take credit hours and pay fees for courses you don’t need to get your degree Returns minimums to six (6) hours and exempts minimum summer course work of three (3) hours if nothing available in your degree program
Continued confusion as to whether your holidays for breaks follow the student calendar or the employee calendar Clear statement that your holidays follow the student calendar
You are only evaluated on work performance when administration feels like it Sets minimum timelines for review with an honest appraisal of performance and time to correct deficiencies; Graduate School accountable to oversee unit requirements. (These evaluations are not used solely to improve performance in work.)
Assistants on fellowship denied GAU representation Assistants on fellowship performing assistant duties are covered by GAU Agreement
The administration never accurately informs you about GAU representation Union access to campus/department/work unit orientation session
The administration fears graduate assistants union solidarity and power All assistants pay an equal fee for cost of representation (legal term: Fair Share) to provide resources that equalize the balance of power between administration and graduate student employees
Assistants used to replace permanent workers and/or used as strike breakers under “other duties’ clause Strict language prohibiting these practices

Being sisters and brothers in GA United does not make administrators our PARENTS.

GAU is a PARTNER in the future of SIU Carbondale.


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