Status of Contract Articles as of December 2019

“SA” = Student Assistant

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TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS

HIGHLIGHTS OF WHAT WE’VE WON

EMPLOYMENT FILES

Establishes the right of all SAs, including those on an approved leave of absence, to review, copy, and supplement their employment files. All files will remain confidential.

SEVERABILITY

If a particular section of the contract is found to be invalid or unlawful, this article would guarantee that the rest of the contract remains in effect and the parties shall bargain over provision(s) found to be unlawful.

TRAVEL

The University shall provide timely reimbursements, travel advances, and direct funding, as well as travel insurance for work-related travel.

UNION-MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Establishes a 10-member (5 from GWC and 5 from CU) joint committee that will meet each semester to discuss the administration of the contract and related matters.

CLOSE ARTICLES

STATUS

GWC’S POSITION

CU’S POSITION

TRAINING

CU Countered

Both parties agree that CU will cover work-related training expenses and provide timely notice of trainings. We propose CU will provide all trainings necessary to fulfill job duties.

No guarantee that CU will provide necessary trainings, but Union-Management Committee may make recommendations to address training concerns.

WORKSPACE AND MATERIALS

GWC Countered

Both parties agree that CU will provide access to workspace/facilities/equipment needed for assigned duties and timely reimbursement for required purchases. We propose CU will provide a desk for every SA, as space permits.

SAs can have access to deskspace to perform assigned duties, but CU refuses to provide a desk to every SA and believes that whether “space permits” should be solely their determination.

ARTICLES IN PROGRESS

STATUS

GWC’S POSITION

CU’S POSITION

APPOINTMENTS

GWC Countered

Up to 7-years of eligibility for doctoral student to receive SA appointments when they do not otherwise have funding.   Appointment notifications given 3 months in advance. Provisions to reinforce appointment security.

Funding for doctoral SAs determined at the discretion of each department at the time of admission. Appointment notifications given 10 days in advance of the starting date.

COMPENSATION & PAYROLL

GWC Proposed

Floor of $43.5k/year for doctoral SAs. Minimum rate of $46/hour for all hourly SAs. On-time pay. Annual increases in pay rates that account for rate of standard inflation/CU’s annual rent increase.

CU retains sole discretion in determining compensation for SAs.

DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE

GWC Countered

Disciplinary actions only for just cause. Mutual agreement by all involved parties that corrective action is needed. Regular pay, benefits, and student status maintained until the arbitrator renders a decision.

Discipline and discharge for conduct related to academic matters to continue to be at CU’s discretion and not subject to grievance or arbitration. Discipline and discharge for other conduct will be only for just cause.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)

CU Rejected

SAs should have access to the services and programs of CU’s EAP program.

Similar benefits are provided to students regardless of employment status, and including SAs will incur administrative and financial burden.

FAMILY FRIENDLY BENEFITS

GWC Proposed

Untaxed and increased subsidies accounting for costs of childcare in NYC. Proper access to childcare facilities. Increased flexibility in scheduling for SAs with caretaking responsibilities.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

FEE AND TUITION WAIVERS

GWC Proposed

Waived tuition costs and fees (e.g., International Services Charge, Student Activity Fee) for all SAs.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

GRIEVANCE AND ARBITRATION

GWC Countered

We propose that all SAs’ complaints should be subject to a 3-step grievance procedure and then outside arbitration if unresolved. Expedited grievence procedures for harrassment and discrimination cases.

Grievances around discrimination and harrasment on the basis of CU’s EOAA policy may be subject to the contract’s grievance and arbitration procedures after they are processed through the University’s EOAA procedures. Additional step in the grievance procedure. Double-step arbitration process for issues of allegedly academic purview of CU.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

GWC Countered

Guarantee of safe and appropriate workspace facilities, supplies, and trainings. Coverage for toxic substance exposure testing. Appropriate disability accommodations. Appropriate Workers’ Compensation for SAs.

Compliance to OSHA standards and all applicable federal/state safety rules, policies, and procedures by both the University and SAs.

HEALTH BENEFITS

GWC Proposed

Enhancements to previous 100 plan that would improve coverage for prescription drugs, emergency, mental health, and gender-nonconforming services. Improved dental and vision coverage. Timely, accessible, and appropriate delivery of on-campus health services.

Considered a student benefit. 100 plan seen as an unreasonable starting point in negotiations. No movement regarding improvements to on-campus health services. No written counter.

HOLIDAYS

GWC Countered

Both parties agree to follow University holiday schedule (12 days per year) and that SAs who are required to work on a holiday will receive an alternate day off. We propose 3 additional personal holidays per year, which may include religious/cultural holidays observed by an SA.

SAs may request additional religious/cultural holidays with advanced written notice to their supervisor.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & SCHOLARLY MISCONDUCT

GWC Countered

Same rights and privileges as faculty and other employees under CU policies governing intellectual property.

SAs are governed by the CU’s Copyright and Intellectual Property policies. Issues regarding intellectual property not subject to Grievance and Arbitration.

INTERNATIONAL WORKER RIGHTS & PROTECTIONS

GWC Countered

Both parties agree that SAs unable to return to the U.S. due to immigration issues may perform duties outside of the U.S. We propose that CU establish itself as a sanctuary campus, reimburse costs of legal assistance and immigration fees related to admission to the program, and provide affordable housing and appropriate tax/visa assistance for international workers.

Policies and support provided by ISSO as currently provided to all students.

JOB POSTING

GWC Countered

All open-hire positions across departments to be posted and appropriately described on a public website.

Current department and school practices to continue. No written counter.

LEAVES

GWC Countered

Paid leaves for medical reasons, disability, taking care of family, childcare, bereavement, civic duty, immigration issues. Regular pay, benefits and appointments preserved for SAs on leave.

SAs to be governed by student leaves policies, under which pay and Columbia housing are not guaranteed while on leave. Status quo of parental accomodations and other leaves.

MANAGEMENT AND ACADEMIC RIGHTS

CU Proposed

No written or verbal response.

Establishes management and academic rights of the CU unless expressly modified by any provision of the contract. Health care benefit as student benefit. Violation of this provision not subject to Grievance and Arbitration.

NO STRIKE/NO LOCKOUT

CU Proposed

No written or verbal response.

No strikes or lockouts for the duration of the contract.

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

GWC Countered

Expands definitions of forms of harassment and misconduct, e.g., bullying (power-based harassment). Expands the list of protected classes of workers. Makes those cases grievable and arbitrable with real recourse to lower the barriers to reporting, interim  measures, and a fair process.

Memorializes CU EOAA policy and statutory regulations, which, for instance, do not account for bullying (power-based harassment) as harassment and discrimination, and do not provide timelines for investigations.

PAST PRACTICES

CU Rejected

Practices not explicitly covered by the contract to continue unless altered by mutual consent.

Rejected.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

GWC Proposed

Funds for participation in and/or development of conferences, seminars and workshops outside of those required by appointments.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

RECOGNITION

CU Amended

Reflects certification decision of the NLRB and the Bargaining Framework Agreement.

Only recognizes doctoral SAs. All undergraduate, masters, and casual/part-time SAs excluded from the contract.

RETIREMENT PROGRAMS

GWC Proposed

Current Voluntary Retirement Savings Program with matching of SAs’ contributions up to 5%.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

SUBCONTRACTING

CU Rejected

Bargaining unit work not to be subcontracted.

Rejected.

SUCCESSORSHIP

CU Rejected

Collective bargaining agreement to remain in case of CU or any of its parts being sold or removed from CU’s jurisdiction in any other way.

Rejected as having unlikely practical need.

TAX ASSISTANCE

GWC Proposed

Reimbursement for tax assistance and free access to appropriate software.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

TITLES AND CLASSIFICATIONS

GWC Proposed

Clear system of appointment titles depending on duties.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

TRANSPORTATION

GWC Countered

Reimbursements for MTA cards. Reimbursements to expenses associated with. Improvements to shuttle services provided by CU.

No substantial verbal response or written counter.

UNION ACCESS AND RIGHTS

GWC Countered

Access to information about the unit, SAs offices, orientations, facilities, including a Union office to conduct Union business.

Access to SAs’ offices, with the exception of restricted areas.

UNION SECURITY

GWC Countered

Union shop: Union dues or agency fees as a condition of employment. Voluntary membership in the Union.

Open shop: Voluntary membership in the Union and dues contributions.

VACATION

GWC+CU Countered

5 weeks of vacation per year for 12-month appointments. Other appointments to have a prorated amount of vacation.

10 days of vacation per year for 12-month lab-based appointments only.

WORKLOAD AND WORK QUALITY

GWC Countered

Introduces a calibrator of workload for appointments with varying required maximum weekly workload. Grievable and arbitrable provisions for excess workload.

Maximum required workload not to exceed 20 hours per week.