WUFT News

University of Florida graduate students seek to end fees, rally outside Library West

By on November 14th, 2012

Audio reports by Eneisy Rodriguez and Danny Gibble

Standing in the Plaza of the Americas, speaking against the backdrop of chanting and music from the Hare Krishna serving their daily lunch, University of Florida graduate student David Jonathan Chase delivered his case for changing graduate assistants’ family medical leave.

Chase’s testimonial was part of a rally held by the UF graduate assistants’ labor union noon Tuesday to demand changes to the assistants’ contract.

Jose Soto, a president of the Graduate Assistants United labor union, said the group sought support on five issues.

He wants to end fees paid by the assistants, increase the time given for family and medical leave, increase health care coverage, increase access to on-campus child care services and increase the yearly assistant minimum wage from $10,000 to $11,000.

He said UF graduate assistants teach half of UF’s courses and conduct much of the university’s research.

His complaints against the assistants’ contract include five days given for family leave and no coverage for vision and dental health.

Rallies similar to Tuesday’s helped the union argue for increased health care coverage in 2006, Soto said.

“We provide a great service to the university, and we feel that we should not be paying to work here,” Soto said. “We deserve better. We serve the Gator nation well, we do it with pride, and we deserve more than that.”

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes and the UF professor and Graduate School Associate Dean Ken Gerhardt did not return phone calls.

Chase, a rally speaker who’s pursuing a master’s degree in mass communication, said he paid about $1,500 total as a teaching assistant in the telecommunication department.

“(It’s) essentially a fee for me to work for the university, and that’s outrageous,” Chase said.


This entry was posted in Education, University of Florida and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Waiting for author to email caption w/ names

Eastside High School Culinary Team Wins Sixth Place In National Competition

Students of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts competed in the National Prostart Invitational in Anaheim, California, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The team came in sixth place.


**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Students at Sante Fe College have opportunities to seek baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. Santa Fe is one of 28 state colleges in Florida, which offer a combined 175 baccalaureate degree programs.

Four-Year Degree Limitation Proposed By State Senator Sparks Debate

Senator Joe Negron proposed to limit baccalaureate programs in Florida community colleges in a recent Senate Higher Education Committee. Santa Fe provost Ed Bonahue argues that the attention should be placed on enrollment, not the programs.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments