What is OSU’s current commitment to graduate assistants?

  • In 2018-19, Oregon State University paid $42.2 million in salary; $28.5 million in tuition remissions; and $10 million in health benefits, for a total of $80.6 million in support of graduate students, who were serving in appointments as teaching and research assistantship positions.
  • 60% of that support was derived from Corvallis Education & General funds, and was funded 66% from tuition and 22% from state funding; 37% was derived from restricted funds (primarily research grants); and 3% was funded through Statewide Public Service or self-support unit funds.
  • The average FTE appointment for a graduate assistant is 0.45 FTE.  At OSU, 67% of graduate assistants are appointed at 0.45 FTE or above.
  • The median annual salary rate in fall term 2019 for graduate assistants was $51,840. The average hourly wage was $26.06, while the hourly wage range extended from $23.24 to $30.99.
  • Tuition and fee waivers provided graduate assistants total about $4,870 per quarter, or $14,600 per academic year.
  • Health insurance paid for graduate assistants by the University costs $547 per month, or $4,925 per academic year. There are additional costs for summer insurance.
  • For a graduate assistant working within an average 0.45 FTE, 9-month appointment at a median annual salary rate of $51,840, the total compensation paid by the University is $37,021. This reflects $17,496 in salary, $14,600 in tuition and fee waivers, and $4,925 in paid health insurance premiums. Using the annual workload of 2,080 hours, this represents an effective pay rate of $52.74 an hour.

What is project cost of the economic proposals being requested by the Coalition of Graduate Employees?

The preliminary projected annual cost of CGE proposals is estimated to be $45.0 to $54.4 million beginning next year.

This cost represents 225% to 270% of the total revenue increase expected for OSU’s Corvallis campus Education and General budget next year. (Estimates assume the cost of the CGE proposal being fully implemented for the 2020-21 academic year, and do not reflect either the University’s commitment or any legal constraints on funding the proposal.)

The following list of CGE economic proposals is organized by the respective article of the bargaining agreement with CGE:

  • Article 9, Appointments
    • Section 4 requests that graduate assistant appointments be extended to 12-month durations, regardless of University teaching or research requirements. At present, 78% of current graduate assistant appointments are for 9 months, 15% are for 3 to 6 months, and 7% are for 12 months:. Estimated annual cost: $8.3 to $11 million.
  • Article 11 Salary
    • Section 1 requests an 18.6% increase in the minimum monthly salary paid graduate assistants, from $3,922 to $4,650 per month. Estimated annual cost: $2.2 million.
    • Section 1 also requests 6% annual compensation increases. Currently, graduate assistants receive 2% annual increases. Estimated annual cost: $1.7 million.
    • Section 7 requests limits to a graduate assistant’s workload.  A 0.49 FTE appointment (increased from 0.30 FTE) would be required for work as the sole responsibility for a course.  This proposal would limit section sizes to 23 students for a 0.49 FTE appointment and 20 students for a 0.30 FTE. This potentially impacts staffing for lectures, labs and recitations. Estimated costs are based on average loads in colleges. Estimated annual cost: $5.3 to $8.7 million.
    • Section 8 requests University contributions to a CGE hardship fund of $300,000 in FY21 $100,000 annually thereafter. Estimated annual cost: $300,000 in FY21 and $100,000 thereafter.
    • Section 6 requests a child-care subsidy of $3,000 per quarter per graduate assistant with an eligible child. Estimated annual cost: $800,000.
    • Section 9 requests that graduate assistants, who develop Ecampus course materials, be paid $500 per future use of said materials: Estimated annual cost: $100,000.
  • Article 12 Tuition Waiver
    • Section 1 requests that tuition waivers not be paid by colleges, units or principal investigators. As written, this proposal would eliminate tuition paid by grants or gifts: Estimated annual cost: $9.3 million.
    • Section 2 requests that 100% of student fees charged to a graduate student be paid by the University. Presently, 90% of student fees are paid by the University for graduate assistants.  Estimated annual cost: $400,000.
    • Section 3 requests reimbursement for visa travel expenses and travel costs incurred during a graduate student’s visa renewal: Estimated annual cost: $200,000.
    • Section 5 requests that minimum enrollment requirement for a graduate assistant be reduced to 6 credits from 12 credits. This will lead to reductions in both funding from external grants and state allocation: Estimated annual cost: $1.1 million.
    • Section 6 requests removal of requirements for summer enrollment by graduate assistants: Estimated annual cost: $600,000.
  • Article 13, summer session
    • Section 4 requests contributions to a summer savings fund of $450 per graduate assistant per month. Estimated annual cost: $6.6 million.
  • Article 22 Transportation
    • Section 1 requests a $50 per month subsidy for graduate assistants who choose to purchase parking permits: Estimated annual cost: $200,000.
    • Section 1 requests that 8% of parking spaces in each OSU Corvallis campus parking lot be designated as ADA accessible.  Estimated cost: $800,000.
    • Section 3 requests expansion of Beaver Bus hours and routes: Estimated annual cost: $400,000.
    • Section 4 requests one-time reimbursement of $400 per graduate assistant for purchase of a bicycle: Estimated cost: $600,000.
    • Section 4 also requests establishment of a bike repair fund in the amount of $500 per graduate assistant per year: Estimated annual cost: $900,000.
    • Section 5 requests up to $60 per month per graduate assistant for use of environmentally sustainable transportation. Estimated annual cost: $300,000.
  • Article 28 Insurance
    • Section 3 requests that the University pay 100% of a graduate assistant’s health insurance premium. OSU current pays 90%.  Estimated annual cost: $1.1 million.
    • Section 5 requests 3 months health insurance following the end of the graduate assistant’s appointment (including graduation) for every graduate assistant. Estimated annual cost: $1.6 million.
  • Article 29 restrooms
    • Article 29 requests establishment of one gender neutral bathroom per floor in all OSU buildings. If. For example, 100 restrooms were converted, the estimated cost would be $2.5 million.
    • Article 29 also requests installation and stocking of menstrual hygiene, condoms, and dental dam dispensers in restrooms: Estimated annual cost: $300,000.
    • Article 29 also requests conversion of existing space in University athletic facilities to gender neutral locker rooms. Assuming one conversion of space in Langton, Dixon, or the Women’s Building in the term of the agreement, the estimated cost of this request is $2.4 million
  • Article Y Housing
    • Article Y requests a $300 per month subsidy for each graduate assistant living off-campus: Estimated annual cost: $3.9 million.
    • Article Y also requests reimbursement for housing deposits for first-year graduate assistants. Estimated annual cost: $300,000.
  • Article Z Family Leave and Policies
    • Section 1 requests up to 6 months paid family leave per eligible graduate assistant at 100% of salary. Assuming a high estimate of 15% utilization and 5% utilization for a low estimate, estimated annual expense of $1.1 to $3.2 million.
    • Section 2 requests expanded hours of operations for drop-in day care: Estimated annual cost: $411,000.