2018 TAA Political Platform
Preamble. The TAA is a democratic, feminist, anti-racist, LGBTQ+ inclusive labor union that is committed to education and economic and social justice for its members, their students and all of humanity. Our political platform is a document that broadly expresses the political values of the TAA. It informs the TAA’s positions on legislation, frames our messaging to the public, and guides the Political Education Committee’s recommendations for candidate endorsements.
All public and private workers, including graduate employees, have the right to organize a union, and guarantee its security, including the right to strike
Every person has a right to employment regardless of immigration status
Every person should have access to the basic necessities including food, safe and affordable housing, and a strong social safety net
All workers deserve living wages, paid sick leave, and paid family and medical leave
Everyone has the right to a safe workplace free from discrimination, intimidation, harassment, and sexual misconduct
All workers have the right to just cause protections in the workplace;
Forced arbitration contracts are inherently unjust
Universal Comprehensive Healthcare
Every person has a fundamental right to access quality and affordable healthcare
Comprehensive health care must be nondiscriminatory based upon race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, citizenship or immigration status, age, disability, pre-existing conditions, or genetic information
Comprehensive healthcare must include access to mental health care
Comprehensive healthcare must include access to reproductive health care, including birth control and abortion services
Comprehensive healthcare must include access to gender affirming surgeries, hormones and other necessary services
Personal Dignity and Civil Rights
Public services should be reformed to promote respect and inclusion of all persons, as well as to abolish institutionalized oppressions, including systemic racism, anti-blackness, sexism, transphobia, ageism, ableism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of colonialism.
Every person has the right to free speech, including the right to freely express their disapproval of disagreeable or offensive ideas
Publicly-funded Public Education
Every person has a right to an education that provides the conditions for human flourishing
The marks of a strong educational system are access, quality, and affordability, where students are not burdened by student loans
There should be adequate funding for continuing, technical, and vocational education for adults to enable lifelong learning
Public schools at all levels must receive equitable and adequate state and federal funding
Vouchers, privatization, and corporatization are antithetical to education in a democratic society
Ensuring Quality Education
Education, beginning at the primary level, should use inclusive pedagogies and curricula and address multiple learning strategies
Curricula at all levels should address issues of global awareness, diversity, labor history, and education on the role and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy
Collective bargaining for all instructional and support staff is integral to ensuring quality education
All academic faculty, staff, and students should undergo equity and diversity training
Paid continuing teacher training is essential to ensuring quality at all levels of education
Educational institutions should strive to reverse legacies of discrimination and injustice
Affirmative action must be maintained in admissions and hiring in higher education
Every student has the right to responsible and fact-based age-appropriate education about human sexuality and reproductive health
Science education should be based on the scientific method and the peer-reviewed findings of the scientific community
The arts are an integral part of a quality education and should be funded accordingly; arts education should be free in public schools
The Environment and Biodiversity
We acknowledge humans as part of a mixed moral community on this planet, in which other nonhuman animals are owed appropriate moral duties of justice, respect, and equity, among others
Every member of our moral community is entitled to clean water, air, and a food supply that is sustainable, responsibly managed and allows them to thrive
We recognize the equitable entitlement of all members of our community to live healthy lives that allow them to develop their innate capabilities. We demand the capabilities of nonhuman animals, domestic and wild, be equitably considered in any and all policies that intervene in their lives
Land use and environmental policy should promote equal access to a safe and clean environment for all affected community members and reverse the legacy of environmental racism and injustice
Human-caused climate change exists and represents an existential threat to the diversity of life on this planet. Governments have an obligation to prioritize and fund mitigation strategies
Corporate tax policy should punish pollution and reward renewable resource use and innovation
Voting Rights and Democracy
Voting should not be limited by burdensome ID requirements and registration should be permitted at the polls on Election Day
Fair representation is essential to healthy democracy. Districting should be conducted by a nonpartisan commission.
No person should be denied the right to vote based on a felony conviction
All elections should be publicly funded in order to preserve all citizens’ rights to stand for office and electors’ rights to viably select a candidate of their choosing
The expenditure of money should not constitute free speech and a corporation should not be recognized as person.
Any group financially contributing to elections or referendum campaigns should be required to disclose its funding source and financial records
All elections should be run in a transparent, accessible, and accountable manner, including the right of citizens to observe all aspects of the process.
UW student elections should maintain a high standard of accessibility, impartiality, and public notice.
All University of Wisconsin System workers deserve meaningful shared governance over policies that affect their work and institutions
The University of Wisconsin System, the State of Wisconsin, and all other public entities should engage in socially responsible investment practices that take into account fair labor standards and responsible environmental practices, and;
The University of Wisconsin should divest from companies and organizations that aid global projects that support systems of oppression, including human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, and environmental degradation.
The TAA Political Platform was adopted as amended at the May 3, 2018 General Membership Meeting.