Kansas University's graduate teaching assistants stand to get a double-digit raise in light of a ruling this week that brought an end to stalled labor negotiations.
In a ruling made public Friday, an independent fact-finder ruled mostly in favor of KU on four issues that had had been under negotiation the past two years between the school and the Kansas Association of Public Employees, which represents KU's 970-plus GTAs.
The union wanted to broaden its on-campus recruiting activities, change limitations on the number of semesters GTAs can be appointed, give GTAs 20 more days in which to file a grievance and boost minimum salaries to a level higher than the minimum proposed by KU.
The fact-finder, John M. Creger of Ozark, Mo., found in favor of KU and against the union on almost all of the issues, except that he didn't approve KU's request to remove a step from the grievance process.
Mike Osborn, a union representative, said Friday that he wasn't prepared to comment on the outcome of the negotiations.
"I just haven't had a chance to look at it yet," he said.
Regardless of the findings, the resolution allows for GTAs to receive merit pay increases they couldn't get for the past two years because of the dispute. According to figures released by the school, that means GTAs will receive an average pay raise of 11.3 percent on top of the average $12,243 they make now for a half-time appointment.
The school announced Friday it plans to seek fast-track approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to enact the pay raise by the end of the academic year.
"The university was prohibited from putting pay raises into the pockets of deserving GTAs for almost two academic years because of the protracted negotiations with the union," KU Provost Richard Lariviere said in a statement. "We want to be as competitive as possible in the national market for the best and brightest graduate students. This impasse was frustrating and painful for the university and unnecessary for GTAs to endure."