|Monday, December 20, 5:30 PM
Inn Wisconsin Room, Memorial Union
Our Executive Board has called an Emergency General Membership Meeting. Here’s why:
If you haven’t heard, the Wisconsin State Senate rejected our contract on Wednesday, December 15. This move was unprecedented and has politicized the process of approving state employee contracts. They did this at the behest of Governor-elect Scott Walker. They rejected our contract and the contracts of 15 other state employee unions. Our proposed contract had increased our health costs and instituted a pay freeze, yet was still judged by Walker and Republicans as “too generous” for grad workers.
This means: Walker could cancel our current contract with a ten day notice as soon as he steps in to office on January 3, and he most likely will. This would remove the guarantees that our contract has provided, suddenly making health insurance, tuition waivers and protection from being fired at will no longer guaranteed.
Our contract would have given us a relative buffer against Governor-elect Walker up through the end of June. Now we may no longer have that buffer and Walker can now fulfill his threats against us and other public employees as soon as he takes office: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/111463779.html
What does this mean for us?
The Governor-elect is promising to slash our wages and benefits and even destroy our union along with all other public sector unions in order to plug holes in the state budget. We also expect him to drastically cut funding to the university. He’s said: “we can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots.” Believe or not, we are the haves in this dichotomy.
Walker and the Republicans have made the following threats:
Many of these threats could be put into action as soon as Walker takes office. We can’t wait — we need to prepare for the worst from this hostile Governor-elect and legislature.
What Can WE Do?
We need you to join our efforts to defend and protect our contract, our jobs, and our union. Attend the Emergency General Membership Meeting on Monday, December 20 at 5:30 PM and bring two fellow graduate workers with you.
Agenda for the meeting
If you can’t attend this meeting, we need you to contact us, Alex Hanna (firstname.lastname@example.org; 765-404-6996) or Kevin Gibbons (email@example.com; 813-466-0952) and will get you plugged in right away.
We are in for some very rough times ahead. Yet TAs and PAs are crucial to this university, and we remain central to the educating of this university. The failure to approve state employee contracts has impacted other unions across the state, and we have many allies in other movements. Walker has already alienated a lot of people through his policies even before starting his term, and this trend will continue if more and more people reject the consequences of his rhetoric.
Alex Hanna and Kevin Gibbons, TAA Co-Presidents