FSU grad assistants bargain with university ahead of return to school

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 9:08 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - This fall will look a little different at Florida State University, and groups like the Graduate Assistance United Union are bargaining with the university for specific demands ahead of the start date.

The Graduate Assistance United Union meets with FSU every year for a collective bargaining agreement, but after switching from in-person to online classes this spring, a special impact bargaining agreement was initiated.

“This past march, FSU switched to online only, and so that changes how we do our classes, that changes right?,” said Graduate Assistance United chief negotiator Vincenza Berardo. “That changes a lot of stuff about how we’re employees at FSU.”

Some of the requests include specifics about funding and research, as some GAs may lose out on completing what they started due to the pandemic.

“All of us are experiencing delays in our research, therefore FSU administration really needs to start thinking about how they’re going to give us all an extra year,” explained Berardo.

While they have a lot of concerns, the group is impressed with FSU’s reopening plan as they feel the school is doing their best to make their employees feel safe.

“FSU is doing a pretty good job with their reopening plan thus far. Obviously there are things we think still need to be done further,” said Berardo.

The group is looking to get their requests met by the start of school on August 24, but say they won’t back down until serious talks are had.

“We’re willing to talk about it, but we’re not willing to just end bargaining without having some sort of serious concessions about it,” exclaimed Berardo.

WCTV reached out to FSU for comment about the bargaining meetings, but we have yet to receive a response.

The group says their next meeting is set for Friday, August 14.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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