IOWA CITY — A union representing University of Iowa graduate students seeks a 5 percent salary increase for graduate student employees for each of the next two years.
The UE Local 896-COGS (Campaign to Organize Graduate Students) opened negotiations for the 2013-15 contract Thursday with the organization’s proposal. UI and state Board of Regents officials will respond with a proposal on Nov. 15, after which negotiations will continue in closed meetings.
The union represents graduate teaching and research assistants at the UI. A 5 percent salary increase would make the minimum salary rate for a 50 percent academic year appointment $18,197 in 2013-14 and $19,107 in 2014-15.
The union proposal also seeks reimbursement of mandatory fees to graduate student employees; an increase from 70 percent to 90 percent in employee coverage of health insurance premium costs for dependent coverage; and extension of the full tuition scholarships to teaching assistants and research assistants in all colleges, rather than the current 100 percent tuition scholarships at liberal arts and sciences rates.
“We believe our contract proposals will address some of the shortcomings of our current contract such as unfair tuition and health care costs, along with poverty level wages for many of our members,” union President Jason Whisler said.