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Graduate Assistant Salary Supplement

Guidelines for Implementation

An agreement between Oregon State University and the Coalition of Graduate Employees, AFT Local 6069 (CGE) includes a Letter of Agreement that specifies: "Effective October 1, 2008, employees shall receive a lump sum payment of $300 for each term enrolled during an academic year, not including summer term, provided the employee maintains a full-time equivalent appointment of 0.20 FTE or greater."

The following guidelines specify the method by which the Salary Supplement will be allocated to eligible graduate assistants and the administrative and accounting procedures that will be established for the implementation of this payment.

Eligibility

Eligibility for the Salary Supplement will be determined each term, excluding summer term, and must be satisfied in two ways. The graduate assistant must:

  1. have an appointment level of 0.20 FTE (defined as employment commitment of 104 hours during the 13-week term period) or greater; and
  2. be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits of OSU instruction (excluding E-Campus course work.)

The Salary Supplement will not be provided to graduate assistants with appointments or enrollments less than the minimums specified above. Graduate assistants whose appointments terminate prematurely, but who have completed the minimum 0.20 FTE for the term will remain eligible for the Salary Supplement for that term. Graduate assistants who receive the Salary Supplement, but who subsequently become ineligible due to reduced FTE, appointment termination, cancellation or withdrawal from study, will be required to repay the full amount of the Salary Supplement to the institution. (See Recovery of Overpayments later in this document.)

Distribution

Upon eligibility determination, graduate assistants will receive the Salary Supplement on the next regularly scheduled pay day. Recognizing that graduate appointments are established and modified on an ongoing basis throughout the term and/or academic year, eligibility will be reviewed on a monthly basis during the academic year.

Salary Supplements will be subject to State and Federal withholding based upon the employee's filing status. Employers will have OPE expense for SAIF as well as any applicable Transit Tax. Salary Supplements will display as a separate line item on each recipient's earnings statement. If the recipient has multiple active graduate assistant positions and suffixes, there will be multiple entries on the earnings statement reflecting the appropriate prorating.

Expenditures

The Payroll Office will administer the Salary Supplement using the PHAHOUR time entry process. Earn code "GDR" (Graduate Salary Supplement) will be used, which links to account code 10640.

Salary Supplement expense will be charged to the default labor distribution on an employee's job record. Disbursements will show as a direct expense to the salary index from which graduate assistant salaries are paid. In the case of split appointments, Salary Supplements will be prorated according to the default labor distribution on the graduate assistant's job record. Employing departments initiating salary redistribution will need to make commensurate redistributions with this expense.

Salary Supplements are not exempt from indirect costs. The same indirect cost rate that is applied to a grant or contract's salary expense will be applied to the Salary Supplement expense. In cases where insufficient grant or contract funds are available, the Salary Supplement and related indirect costs will be charged as a cost overrun to the same responsible organization code as the grant or contract.

Subsidization

The University has allocated Salary Supplement funds for graduate appointments supported by OSU general fund budgeted operations (001100). Funds were distributed to campus units based on the prior year graduate assistant FTE, and were added to base budgets permanently. There will be no settle-up at year-end.

Salary Supplements charged to OSU cost-sharing funds (005000-005999) will be covered by the responsible organization's general fund budgeted operations, similar to salary expense.

For graduate appointments supported by all other fund ranges, including Statewide Public Service, the Salary Supplement will continue to be a direct cost to the operation.

Recovery of Overpayments

Graduate assistants who previously received the Salary Supplement and who subsequently become ineligible during the term due to appointment termination, cancellation or withdrawal from study will be subject to overpayment procedures.

The Payroll Office will calculate the net amount due, and will provide the employee (or former employee) with the calculation and an overpayment acknowledgement form. The Payroll Office will send up to two letters if necessary to obtain repayment. If repayment is unsuccessful after three months, the debt may be referred to the Business Affairs Collections Office for recovery.

When an overpayment is recovered, the Payroll Office will process an adjustment entry to reserve the income and return the funds to the appropriate salary index (or multiple indices) that established graduate assistant eligibility for the Salary Supplement.