The UW-Madison Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA) would like to give a heartfelt thanks to the thousands of individuals who galvanized the Wisconsin Uprising and made this unprecedented grassroots effort a priority in their lives over the past sixteen months.
The Wisconsin Uprising is not about one election. We will remember February in Madison as an icon for the ongoing struggle for a dignified and democratic workplace, for access to quality education and health care, and for a just and fair society. Despite the recall defeat, the goals of our struggle have not changed. As Wisconsonites, we must continue to demonstrate leadership and vigilance in the months ahead, and build a strong opposition to stave off continuing and new attacks against our university, our unions, and our quality of life.
In the wake of the recall, the TAA (AFT Local #3220) encourages the greater Madison community to sustain the many coalitions formed over recent months in opposition to continuing and new attacks against public services, voting and tenant rights, the environment, and labor rights.
On June 7th, The UW Board of Regents approved a 5.5 percent tuition increase for all 13 four-year campuses—the maximum increase allowed under state law—for the sixth consecutive year. If adopted, in-state tuition and fees will surpass $10,000 a year, putting a college education out of reach for many Wisconsinites.
“As stewards of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we must work together to ensure that this educational institution is affordable and accessible,” said Matt Reiter, TAA Co-President. “We encourage all campus community members to get involved in the I ❤ UW Committee, our ad hoc committee of undergraduate students, TAA members, faculty and campus workers defending public higher education.“
Across the country, university systems are being defunded and are undergoing privatization initiatives. Last year, Governor Walker implemented an HR Design process at UW-Madison to serve such ends.
“The TAA has been one of the lone graduate student voices in a process that looks increasingly like other efforts to privatize higher education in this country,” said Charity Schmidt, also TAA Co-President. “This issue has the potential to advance the Walker agenda for our university albeit under more subtle pretenses than the Budget Repair Bill in 2011.”
The TAA is prepared to fight for the rights and living standards we, the students of UW, and the working people of Wisconsin deserve. We recognize our power comes from our membership, our capacity to organize, our solidarity with other students and workers, and our willingness to collectively assert our voice and vision forward, regardless of political leadership.
The Teaching Assistants’ Association is one of the oldest graduate employee unions in the world and represents nearly 3,000 graduate employees at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2012