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Local 896/COGS,
Win Improvements
In Wages and Insurance


Local 896 members take to the streets ...

Local 896 members take to the streets of Iowa City during negotiations.

Members of UE Local 896-COGS overwhelmingly ratified their third contract with the University of Iowa, State of Iowa Board of Regents.

The union of teaching and research assistants bargained with the University and Regents right up to the last minute before final offers for arbitration were to be exchanged. The sticking point was over starting salaries and guaranteed salary increases for returning employees. Finally, the employer relented and accepted the union’s last offer.

The two-year agreement increases minimum salaries by 4.2 percent in each year. Returning employees will receive a minimum salary increase of 3 percent plus an additional 1 percent progression increment. The increases for returning employees will now go to all employees; in the past, only employees continuing in the same appointment were guaranteed the increase.


With a projected increase of at least 40 percent to UI Grad Care, the most widely used insurance plan, over the next two years the employer will pay 90 percent of the premium cost for single health insurance, 70 percent of the premium cost for dependent insurance, and 85 percent of the premium cost for single dental insurance, increases of between 1 and 3 percent. Outpatient substance abuse with a 10 percent coinsurance has been added to the plan summary and domestic partners, including same-sex domestic partners, will also now be eligible for the employer contribution for insurance. Beginning in the second year of the agreement, the employer will contribute 70 percent of the premium cost for dependent dental insurance. Also, employees will no longer have to re-enroll for health insurance each year.

To help with organizing in the high-turnover, graduate-employee environment, appointment letters sent out by the employer will now include a statement informing teaching and research assistants that they are covered by a contract and represented by UE Local 896-COGS, along with a reference to the local’s web site.

Improvements were also made in other areas of the contract, including job postings, teaching assignment notification, and coverage of classes when an employee is on leave.

The Local 896-COGS bargaining committee included Jennifer Sherer, Heather Kopelson, Michael Marchman, Angela Hess, Jennifer Ryan, and Lars Peterson. They were assisted by Field Org. Ryan Downing.

UE News - 05/01

Home -> UE News -> 2001 Archives -> Article

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