GEO Bargaining 4: We Don’t Mean To Write Your Counter For You

Back in negotiations, back in Palmer Commons. I have arrived as always late in discussions.

(earlier sessions: 1, 2, 3.)

We’re discussing getting benefits to people who work during the weird summer termsl. Both sides are struggling with the fact that nobody ever seems to know practically until the term is ended who is and who isn’t going to get a GSI position during the summer.

Now we’re arguing that mental health benefits should be treated with the same seriousness as physical health. People with mental health issues shouldn’t have to worry that their support is going to time out. Apparently the administration has been resisting this idea and we have resisted their resistance.

Admin is responding that they think it may not be as big a deal, considering the numbers of users, as we think it is. Maybe, they’re not willing to stand on that yet. I think.

We’re discussing what the status of pending national legislation on that topic. It’s a little lesson in politics. Kennedy politics. Kennedy family ties. Very educational. I’m just a bill and I’m sitting here on capitol hill.

Now we’re discussing drug co-pays (I think) and caps on increases to those. It’s going up in any case, we’re discussing how much.

It sounds to me like we’re making a few revisions to our proposals to soften them in non-core areas.

That appears to include some language around bereavement.

Discussing development of educational materials (about? Something about employee benefits or contract. I’m missing this), who does it and how it’s distributed. Nitty gritty stuff this.

Wow, I haven’t hear “let’s do that” as “let us do that” in a while. Formalized. Very formalized.
We’re breaking to do some document printing, but first the admin and student bargaining squads are phoning each other so they can get their respective numbers into their cells. And discussing what custom ringtones they will have. It’s friendly.

I think it’s important to note that I’m basing these paraphrases on my de-contextualized and uniformed impressions on what’s going on. These are mostly guesses, and are probably substantially inaccurate.

Now we are lamenting the fact that this bargaining session has been characterized by a lack of available rooms for meeting. And the dissapearance of the “Haberman Room”. Apparently our veteran negotiators have fond memories.

But we’ve committed to meeting again soon. And making progress. How to the bargaining teams possibly have time for this? Correction: how do people who don’t get paid to do this (our side) possibly have time for this?

That’s it for the day.

We’re high fiving for getting parental leave. Oh hey! We got three weeks of paid leave on top of 3 weeks of parental leave, and if you decide not to come back, you can keep benefits if your department agrees. Hey!

We’re set to start bargaining 4 times a week. Jeez.

Membership meeting on the 18th, featuring a vote on a strike.

Rally on the 20th, starting at 2:30 on the diag, going to the cube, which will be within earshot of the monthly Regent’s meeting. We hope to deliver an over-sized novelty letter to them, petitioning for their support, which we have some hope for. From there the rally will move to bargaining in the Union.

This has been our last session in the Palmer Commons. From now on, bargaining on the real central campus. Spencer: where the hell isn’t the Palmer Commons?

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