GAU’s Negotiations Committee (NegComm) successfully survived our first official negotiation session with the administration.
Our first order of business was to establish ground rules that both parties agreed to follow for the duration of negotiations. Since these were previously submitted to the administration, they were discussed with ease and amiability. Once those were squared away, we were able to establish dates for our next two meetings: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 and Thursday, March 5, 2015.
Through the span of a productive 2.5 hour meeting, NegComm held the floor to deliver our initial proposals. Danielle Dirocco, Executive Director of GAU, explained numerous grammatical/linguistic as well as substantive changes that we are proposing to the administration. This provided the administration with an overview of our proposals and the opportunity to ask for clarification on any sections that needed further explanation. Language changes ranged from correcting previous spelling errors to suggesting a change to the term “apprentice” currently used to describe a Graduate Assistant in the contract. The substantive changes introduced included the elimination of student fees and the addition of dental and vision insurance to the GA compensation package. Next negotiating session will involve further financial proposals including providing Grad Assistants a competitive living wage.
We look forward to further productive meetings as we get into the nuts and bolts of our proposals.