Yesterday, the GEO met with the university administration for our eighth bargaining session. Much of our time was spent discussing matters pertaining to our grievance procedure (Article XXII) and the procedures for discipline and dismissal (Article XXI). Though we did not reach any formal agreements during the session, we will likely formally agree on the language for these two articles in the first few minutes of our next session (8/14 at 12:00, room TBA). The most significant change that we will almost certainly agree upon is that the deadline for filing a grievance will be extended from 30 calendar days to 30 business days, giving our members more time to take notice of work-related problems and to determine whether or not they wish to file a formal grievance.
Though a significant amount of progress has been made with regard to several portions of our contract, a large amount remains to be negotiated. In particular, we have yet to discuss any of the monetary issues addressed in our contract. This includes wages, tuition waivers, and fees (including tuition differentials), the issues that were revealed to be of most importance to you in the membership survey. We made proposals on all of these matters in our first session, but the administration has thus far resisted discussing them. We have at every session urged the administration to begin discussing these items with us, and will continue to do so, but the university will move faster if they feel the pressure from more of our members.
Our next bargaining session will be next Tuesday from 12:00-3:30, and we will likely come to an agreement with regard to the grievance procedure and discipline and dismissal articles, and then discuss matters relating to management rights, hours, class sizes, additional employment, union rights, and our ability to strike.
Next week’s session is particularly significant because it is the last session before our current contract expires on August 16th. We will likely be working without a contract as we enter into the fall semester, and it will be necessary to pressure the university so that we can come to agreement on our new contract as soon as possible. So what can you do? Come to the bargaining session next Tuesday, August 14th, at 12 pm to have your voice heard.