After two bargaining sessions in the past week between the Graduate Assistants United labor union and UF, no agreement was reached.
The initial deadline for negotiating stipend raises was June 27. At the latest meeting Tuesday, GAU presented a counter offer of a $16,000 minimum salary, a combined $750 stipend raise and fee relief for the first year, and a combined $650 for the second year.
During the meeting, UF said they could agree to the higher minimum salary, a change from the current $15,000, if a deal were made. They offered a lower combination of $700, between stipend raises and increased fee relief, for the first year and $400 for the second year.
Bobby Mermer, the GAU bargaining chair, said he was unable to agree to a deal without first speaking to other union members.
On Tuesday, graduate assistants spoke about their troubles with current stipend rates.
“I don’t want to be promised something special; I want to be promised something liveable,” said Andrea Medina, a 24-year-old English master’s student.
Bill Connellan, UF’s chief negotiator, said graduate students have been offered better raises than faculty and administration on campus for the last three years.
Mermer said even though raises for graduate students have been proportionally higher than other faculty, they started from a lower salary.
“The package is not as generous as UF is making it seem,” Mermer said.