Campaign Platform of the Teaching Assistants’ Association

This campaign platform, ratified by the membership of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA), puts forth a vision for the public university that the students and workers of the University of Wisconsin-Madison deserve. To improve learning and working conditions, it advances concrete reforms that respond to current grievances on campus and are in line with the union’s pursuit of anti-discrimination, economic justice, and workplace democracy. We, the members of the TAA, call on university administrators to enact the changes enumerated below and declare our readiness to act in defense of our learning and working communities. 

  1. To overcome discrimination on campus, the TAA calls on administrators to:
    1. Provide comprehensive mental wellness resources for all students on campus without charging them for this essential support.
    2. Abolish the discriminatory International Student Fee for international students.
    3. Expand gender inclusivity initiatives on campus, including, but not limited to, greater access to gender-inclusive facilities, provision of sanitary products in all restrooms, and relevant training for faculty and other instructors.
    4. Expand support for DACAmented and undocumented students, including, but not limited to, funding the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.
    5. Enhance compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act on campus and provide Employee Disability Accommodation for any worker.
    6. Hire and pay additional graduate assistants and staff to engage in diversity and inclusion work, and thereby shift the burden from volunteer to fairly-remunerated labor.
  2. To realize economic justice on campus, the TAA calls on administrators to:
    1. Increase the minimum pay for hourly student workers and all graduate assistant classifications, providing a plan for raising minimum pay to a living wage for the city of Madison, WI.
    2. Remit the segregated fees, just as tuition is remitted, for all graduate workers.
    3. Institute paid parental leave for all graduate workers and greater support for childcare.
    4. Establish an International Family Support Fund from which international graduate students with families and partners receive financial support.
  3. To cultivate workplace democracy, the TAA calls on administrators to:
    1. Approve fair and quality workplace policies, including grievance procedures, for lecturers and research assistants, who currently do not have any formal policies.
    2. Create a standing committee of graduate assistants and administrators that meets regularly to assess and improve our policies and procedures.

This page will be updated regularly with more information about our platform planks and our fight for the UW we deserve. You can download a pdf version of our platform here.