2009-2010 TAA T-Shirt Design Contest

With a little graphic design talent or some applied creativity, you could be the designer of the 2009-2010 TAA t-shirt. Or, lacking the artistic talent to render your design onto paper but with the vision of a true artiste, you’re welcome to submit a rough sketch that the TAA can have translated from dream to…

We Are Not Alone: Redux

The TAA is oldest among many graduate worker unions across the country, with brothers and sisters literally from coast to coast and parts in between. Some locals are affiliated with our parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, while others are affiliated with the United Auto Workers and the Communications Workers of America. Within the…

TAA-Represented Workers Exempt From Furloughs

In a big victory for graduate assistants, workers represented by the TAA will be exempted from state employee furloughs. Earlier this year in response to a state fiscal crisis, the Governor of Wisconsin announced that all state employees would be subject to unpaid furloughs of eight days per year, or sixteen days per biennium. However,…

Contract Progresses

With recent developments, our 2007-2009 contract appears to be moving forward through the state government processes, one step away from official ratification and implementation. In the last update for our rank-and-file members, we reported on background information and progress in moving our 2007-2009 contract forward. The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JoCER, or…

Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions Conference

In our last membership email and update, we spoke of the Alliance of Graduate Employee Local (AGEL) conference and the attendance by a group of TAA activists. AGEL is a grouping of AFT-affiliated graduate workers unions. But beyond AFT locals in the grad labor movement, there are other grad unions affiliated with other unions such…

Organizing Does Not Take a Summer Vacation

Organizing is at the heart of unionism, and it is a vital part of our local. As our union is our vehicle for collective action and power, organizing is what drives that forward. The activism of our members makes our union work, and we need everyone to be involved. This summer, our organizing program continues…

We Are Not Alone: the TAA and AGEL

We are not alone. While the TAA was the first graduate workers union to form, many other grad workers at many other schools have unionized.  We are part of a larger grad worker and academic labor movement.  Every fall and spring, a group of grad unions get together as part of the Alliance of Graduate…

Bargaining and Contract Update

Currently, our 2007-2009 contract has not yet been ratified and we continue to work under an extension of our 2005-2007 contract. Some developments with the 2007-2009 contract have occurred, and our 2009-2011 negotiations are beginning. To begin, it is important to know how we negotiate our contracts. We bargain with both the University of Wisconsin-Madison…

Swarm and Nest: Van Vleck

Last Wednesday (4/15) we brought a small crew to Van Vleck for organizing. Yet again, we (myself included) were held back by colds and flus. 3 organizers put in 9 hours of organizing time, speaking to 19 members, and signing up 2 new members. For the semester, then, we have 36 different organizers, 170 organizing…