Oregon State University (OSU) and the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) are engaged in negotiating an update to their existing labor contract, which expires June 30, 2024. In these negotiations, OSU and CGE bargaining teams will discuss potential updates to existing language contained within the current collective bargaining agreement. These efforts are for the limited purpose of negotiating four articles as part of the labor agreement between OSU and CGE.

This webpage provides information regarding updates from bargaining sessions held by the University and CGE, as well as information about the University's bargaining principles and its bargaining team.

Bargaining Updates

Bargaining teams for the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) and the University have begun making steady progress on negotiations involving a contract reopener involving the two parties. On Jan. 18, 2022, the parties agreed to the ground rules for negotiation. The CGE bargaining team has proposed changes to Article 25 (Health and Safety), Article 13 (Summer Session) and Article 9 (Appointments). During the Feb. 17, 2022, bargaining session, the University’s bargaining team offered edits to the Article 25 changes CGE proposed.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for March 3.

Bargaining teams for the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) and the University met on March 3 at the LaSells Stewart Center for in-person negotiations. The University bargaining team provided a counter proposal to Article 9 (Appointments) and the CGE bargaining team proposed changes to Article 11 (Salary). The CGE bargaining team confirmed the four articles opened by the team are the following: Article 9 (Appointments), Article 11 (Salary), Article 13 (Summer Session), and Article 25 (Health and Safety).

The next bargaining session is scheduled for March 17.

Bargaining teams for the Coalition of Graduate Employees and the University met remotely on March 17. University bargaining team members informed the CGE bargaining unit that they do not anticipate opening articles but will provide confirmation at the next session. The University’s bargaining team fielded questions related to health and safety, appointment letters, and compensation. The session concluded with general comments being offered by CGE bargaining team members about such things as work life balance, childcare, and rising prices.  bargaining issues.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for March 31.

Bargaining teams for the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) and the University met remotely on March 31. The University’s bargaining team provided a counter proposal to Article 11 (Salary) and fielded questions about its proposal from the CGE bargaining team. The session concluded with general comments being offered by CGE bargaining team members regarding topics of concern.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 13.

Bargaining teams for the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) and the University met remotely on April 13.

The CGE bargaining provided counters proposals to Article 9 (Appointments), Article 11 (Salary) and Article 25 (Health and Safety), striking Article 13 (Summer Session) as changes to Article 11 and the eliminating of Article 13 were presented as a bargaining package (proposals are reviewed and considered in the aggregate).

The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 29.

The university’s bargaining team presented the Coalition of Graduate Employees’ bargaining team with a package proposal that included responses to each of the four contract articles that are currently open for this limited reopener negotiation.

The university’s proposal for the Salary Article proposed a 3% increase to minimum salaries and expanded the population of graduate assistants eligible to receive a compensation increase in September 2022. The proposal offers a 3.5% salary increase for continuing graduate assistants, effective September 2022, and an additional increase of 3% for September 2023 for continuing graduate assistants.

The university bargaining team also proposed language for the Health and Safety Article that offers guidance for graduate assistants who may encounter concerns with their worksite conditions that they believe may impede their work. The proposed language also provides a consideration for remote work in the appropriate circumstances. While the CGE bargaining team seeks to place greater detail on obligations for any pathogenic event, the university’s bargaining team has conveyed its reservations with such an approach, saying that each new event is unique and will require action responsive to that event. For that reason, the university bargaining team continues to reinforce existing contract language that expresses the university’s commitment to graduate employees, while complying with expert guidance, as well as state and federal laws.

The parties discussed child care. The university bargaining team acknowledged that the availability of child care is a concern for working parents nationally and said the university seeks to work with local partners and stakeholders to increase the availability of child care that would benefit OSU employees and students. The university does not agree with the CGE bargaining team that offering $800 direct payments per child each month to limited individuals within a particular class is an appropriate approach to the systemic child care issue facing community members.

The university bargaining team looks forward to meaningful progress with the CGE bargaining team in the next bargaining session scheduled for 3 pm PST on Friday, May 13, 2022.

The Coalition of Graduate Employees bargaining team provided counter proposals to Article 9 (Appointments), Article 11 (Salary) and Article 25 (Health and Safety). The University’s bargaining team fielded questions related to university proposals related to health and safety, appointment letters, and compensation articles.

The CGE bargaining team’s proposal for minimum salaries continues to seek an 18% increase in effective September 1, 2022 for fall term appointments. And the university bargaining team continues to offer raises to salary minimums within the contract salary article and salary percentage increases for graduate assistants being reappointed. Additionally, the CGE bargaining team continued to present substantial language amendments that detail obligations and steps the university would need to take in response to external events such as climate change and wildfires. In response, the university bargaining team continues to assert awareness of the university’s responsibilities as an employer to provide working environments that are in keeping with applicable state and federal requirements and that contribute to safety. The university bargaining team has discussed that collective bargaining agreements cannot reduce to writing all unforeseeable contingencies.

The CGE bargaining team’s counter proposal on child care was provided with the same language that would provide a $550 monthly stipend directly paid to graduate assistant employees to help pay for child care. The university bargaining team remains resolute that childcare is an issue the university has been seeking to address through multiple initiatives, including working with local partners and stakeholders to increase the availability of childcare.

The university bargaining team remains committed to reaching an agreement with CGE and is prepared to make the best use of the two remaining scheduled bargaining sessions to exchange proposals and focus on achieving agreement within the proposed articles.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for May 25.

The university’s bargaining team provided counter proposals to each article as a package. The team offered new language regarding health and safety that would allow graduate employees to leave work without contacting their supervisor in the event of extraordinary hazards that may present immediate risk to an employee.

The Coalition of Graduate Employees bargaining team has presented the university team with proposed language that upon an appointment notice being issued late, or upon a position description being provided that is missing any required elements, the unit would pay a fine directly to the graduate assistant employee. As a counter to the requested fees incurred by units, to be payable to the graduate assistant employee upon both a late notice of appointment and if any element of a position description is not provided, the university bargaining team proposed providing employing units with training on content and timeliness requirements associated with work assignments and position descriptions.

The university’s salary proposal offers returning graduate assistant employees upon reappointment within the same employing unit, a 3.5% raise in September 2022 and 3% minimum increase in September 2023. The proposal also included a 3% increase to the minimum monthly salary rate for new appointments effective September 1, 2022. Additionally while some units have work to offer graduate assistant employees during summer term, the university’s bargaining team did not agree to the CGE bargaining team’s proposal of requiring graduate assistantships to be mandatory 12-month appointments.

The university bargaining team continues to contend the most appropriate method for the university to assist all employee populations navigate a national child care access issue is by working within each community in which OSU is located to increase childcare capacity, versus  directly providing a monthly childcare stipend per child to graduate assistant employees who are also parents.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for June 10.

At the June 10, 2022, bargaining session the bargaining teams for the University and the Coalition of Graduate Employees met for approximately 12 hours. During this meeting, significant progress was made on achieving mutually agreed upon language within the four bargaining contract articles that are currently open. The session was concluded without achieving full tentative agreement on articles.

At the time the session concluded, the university’s bargaining team had proposed:

  • 6% increase to the minimum salaries provided new graduate employees.
  • 4.25% salary increase effective Sept. 16, 2022, for returning graduate employees.
  • 3.25% salary increase effective Sept. 16, 2023 for returning graduate employees.
  • An increase in minimum FTE effective Sept. 16, 2023, to .40 FTE This proposal represents 5% increase from current FTE levels.
  • A $10,000 increase to the Hardship Fund which is managed by the Graduate School and supports graduate students, including those who hold graduate assistantships. The $10,000 increase will be added to the existing funds with the current program criteria.

The CGE bargaining team proposed new concepts for the University to consider that include removing summer enrollment requirements for international students, who also would be required to be issued 12-month graduate assistant appointments. These are new concepts proposed by the CGE and  needed further review, in order to determine whether the University will consider these new concepts. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, June 27 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The University bargaining team and bargaining team for the Coalition of Graduate Employees met on June 27 to continue discussing the four collective bargaining agreement articles that are currently being negotiated.

The university bargaining team offered a 7% increase to the minimum salaries for new graduate employees and salary increases of 4.5% for returning employees September 16, 2022 and 3.5% for returning employees September 16, 2023.  

Since available work to assign graduate employees during summer term is significantly less than work available during fall, winter and spring terms, the university’s bargaining team has indicated it is unable to agree to providing guaranteed 12-month graduate assistantship appointments.

Each bargaining team has indicated it believes the parties are close to completion of this bargaining process and hopeful they will achieve tentative agreement at the next session planned on July 6.

 

 

The university bargaining team and bargaining team for the Coalition of Graduate Employees met today to continue discussing the four collective bargaining agreement articles under negotiation since the parties began meeting near the start of the calendar year.

The university has agreed to increase minimum salaries by 9% for new graduate employees effective Sept. 16, 2022, and provide salary increases of 4.75% for returning employees in 2022 and 4% for returning employees in 2023, to be effective Sept. 16 of each year. In addition, the university will increase by $75,000 the annual Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund is a program administered by the Graduate School to assist eligible graduate students, including those who hold a graduate employee position, who experience hardships related to housing insecurity, health emergency, unexpected family circumstances, loss of access to academic resources, childcare expenses among other needs.

During the course of the negotiations, the bargaining teams also updated language on a number of non-economic items to include language within the Appointments Article that provides greater clarity to Graduate Employees about their work assignments; raised the minimum FTE appointment to 0.40 starting Sept. 16, 2023; and identified how future assistantship work opportunities can be promoted. The teams also codified details about how summer session appointments should be extended to graduate employees where work is available; and agreed to revised language in the Health and Safety Article related to additional training for graduate employees and supervisors, as well as how concerns about the safety of the work environment may be addressed.

Terms of this tentative agreement will be subject to a ratification vote of CGE members.  

University Labor & Bargaining Team

University Bargaining Team

  • Jason Perkiser
  • Trina Young
  • Steph Bernell
  • Sherm Bloomer
  • Jessica Beck