Florida State University graduate students will see their healthcare subsidies increase this year after an almost 5-month long mediation with university officials.
All FSU students are required to have health insurance to register for classes. Before Thursday, graduate assistants were obligated to pay most of those health costs out of pocket. Grad students working 10 hours a week were given a health stipend of $450 towards the more than $1600 student health plan and students working 20 hours a week were given about $900. Now, the university has agreed to increase those stipends to $650 and $1300 respectively. Graduate assistant labor union co-president Kerr Ballenger vowed negotiations aren’t over; they’ll be back next year urging one hundred percent coverage.
“We’re going to continue fighting for 100 percent coverage. I think the momentum has only gotten stronger. We had a great turnout at our rally yesterday and the university made a verbal promise to us last year that they were going to work towards 100 percent,” Ballenger said.
Ballenger says Graduate Assistants United will renew negotiations with FSU next May.