Are you looking for a way to do something for economic justice in Corvallis?
Look no further than OSU's graduate teaching and research assistants (TAs and RAs).
OSU TAs and RAs outnumber full-time academic faculty and faculty research assistants
OSU TAs are increasingly responsible for more and more of class development, teaching, recitations, grading and student contact time of OSUs 1350 classes.
OSU RAs are responsible for a majority of the research that nets OSU $137 million in grants.
OSU takes 100% of RAs intellectual property from the $1.2 million in intellectual property revenues.
Despite all this hardwork, for the past 4 years OSU TAs and RAs have worked long hours for below average pay with astronomical fees.
OSU TAs and RAs must pay the highest fees of all OSU peers institutions and the highest on the West Coast.
OSU TA's and RA's fees have increased a minimum of 41.5% and as much as 430% since 1999.
OSU TA's and RA's minimum pay (below nat. avg) has stayed the same at $342/mo ($205 after min. fees)
In comparisons, TAs at UO in Eugene have received at least a 10.6% raise since 1999.
UO TA's fees are also capped at $285/term.
UO TAs are already paid at least 20% more than OSU grads.
So, in February, when OSU administration and its TAs and RAs opened talks on a contract to follow the current one that expires in June, grads thought OSU would want to work with them to reduce the fee load and make OSU more competitive for graduate students.
Instead the university decided to break the law and refused to even discuss TAs and RAs fees since February, despite the fact that the law says they must bargain in good faith.
Now, 3 months later, OSU is trying to say that their budget is set and they can't discuss fees.
Additionally, OSU is breaking Oregon State law and refuses to even tell OSU TAs and RAs who is covered by the contract (only OSU has this info).
Finally, OSU is asking the grads to sign a 4 year contract that eliminates their right to use student e-mail for non-GA purposes, and allows the admin to fire a grad for free speech if they deem the speech 'impeedes university operations'!
Does this sound outrageous to you?
If it does, and you think OSU should treat its grads better, the best thing you can do is to attend the graduate solidarity rally. Join us as we march to the administration and tell them to stop treating their grads so poorly, start respecting the tremendous work they do, and start negotiating in good faith.
They will meet Tuesday, May 25th, at noon, on the OSU quad in front of the Memorial Union on the OSU campus in Corvallis. - Join them!
see also: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288917.shtml