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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

GAU, UF continue to disagree over raises for graduate students

Graduate Assistants United and UF officials are continuing a yearlong battle over wage increases.

The group, which advocates for graduate assistants, met Wednesday morning with UF negotiators to try to settle an agreement on raises and fee reliefs for UF graduate assistants after months of bargaining.

By the end of the meeting, the two sides could not come to an agreement. John Hames, the chief bargainer for GAU, said he’s hoping for a consensus soon.

“We are not convinced that the university cannot give the same or more in dollar amount in raises to GAs as it did last year,” he said.

The group brought its fourth proposal of the year to Bill Connellan, the chief bargainer for UF, who brought his own proposal but didn’t put it on the table.

During the meeting, the group asked for a $320 raise and a $100 fee relief for graduate assistants. The group also asked for a minimum stipend of $15,000 for half-time graduate assistants.

Previously, both parties verbally agreed to the stipend raise, but nothing will be official until the documents, which are due Nov. 10, are signed.

Hames said his group has been negotiating closer with UF’s offers, but UF won’t agree to their terms.

Connellan said he appreciated Hames’ proposal, but he said GAU wants the university to offer more than it can.

“I’m going to have to spend some more time talking about options for us and reschedule,” Connellan said.

During the meeting, Graduate Assistants United asked for:

  • A $320 raise
  • A $15,000 minimum stipend for half-time employees
  • A $100 fee relief
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