Hardship Fund distributed for 2023
The Mutual Aid Fund Committee distributed aid this month to 64 members who are international students with dependents and/or without summer GE appointments. The funds were distributed after the executive council voted in May to allocate $50,000 of our member dues-generated funds to help alleviate some of the financial precarity that our international members experience over the summer. Disbursements for 2023 ranged from $660 to $1000 and were determined after an anonymous review of the applications based on the amount in the fund, the number of applicants, and applicants’ stated need (including summer employment status and responsibility for dependents).
Even as we take pride in the solidarity among our members that the Mutual Aid Fund embodies, we recognize the limitations of the material support it can offer. We believe that the responsibility to alleviate GEs’ financial precarity ultimately lies with their employer—a position reflected in our contract proposals of support for international students, caregivers, and a living wage for all GEs. The Mutual Aid Fund is GTFF’s effort to promote equity and to care for some of our most vulnerable colleagues. We call on UO to step up and do the same.
Note: While this particular fund is only for international GEs, both domestic and international GEs may be eligible for the Graduate Student Assistance Fund (if they have a qualifying event like a medical issue, new child, or childcare expenses). The university has also agreed to open this fund for $500 awards for summer international student support. GTFF secured consistent funds from UO for the Graduate Student Assistance Fund through our 2014 strike and contract negotiations, and GTFF members help manage the fund and screen applications.
See below for the text of our bylaws establishing the Mutual-Aid Hardship Fund.
Beginning in AY 2020-21, a portion of GTFF member dues will be allocated towards constituting and maintaining a Mutual-Aid Hardship Fund (from now on “the Fund”).
- a) The amount allocated to the Fund is voted annually as part of the yearly budget of the union, but under no circumstances can fall below $10,000.
- b) The union recognizes the hardship that many of our members face during the summer due to a lower number of GE appointments. The Fund is primarily meant to address this hardship.
- c) A Hardship Fund Committee is constituted every year following the approval of the budget in May and holds a mandatory meeting BEFORE July 1 (start of new budget year).