USF Graduate Assistant United union wants to negotiate contract

University of South Florida

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The Graduate Assistant United labor union at USF  wants talks with the university administration over contract terms. They are regular negotiations that come up every few years. Their collective bargain agreement has expired.

Among other things, the graduate student workers are concerned about working conditions for teachers and researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They’re hosting a protest outside of USF President Currall’s on-campus house (Lifsey House) on Saturday, July 11th at 3:00 p.m. Demonstrators will stay in their cars.

WMNF interviewed Kelly Osterman, co-President of USF Graduate Assistants United (USF-GAU).

Listen to the whole show here.

We talked about a range of issues including:

How the COVID-19 pandemic affected teaching assistants and research assistants in the spring semester.

An anonymous graduate assistant who was pressured to work, despite having a low fever.

How summer assistantships were affected by the pandemic.

How the pandemic has affected the finances of graduate assistants.

Whether USF expects graduate teaching assistants to teach in-person classes and labs in the fall.

What protections are offered by the university to graduate assistants who return to the university in the fall to teach or to do research.

How pay, benefits and working conditions are for graduate assistants at USF.

We also talked about the consolidation of the USF campuses from St. Petersburg and Sarasota under the USF Tampa administration and how that might affect graduate assistants.

And about the treatment of adjunct professors at USF and how much the university relies on adjuncts.

And WMNF asked USF-GAU’s Kelly Osterman about a campaign by Tampa Bay SDS to pressure the USF administration to enroll more Black students.


Listen to the 5:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 6 July 2020:

Listen to the 4:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 6 July 2020:

Listen to the 3:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 6 July 2020: