The Next Steps for the TAA
Statement endorsed by the TAA membership on May 17, 2012
Actions by both Republicans — via the Walker Administration — and Democratic Senators Russ Decker and Jeff Plale –via the December 2010 rejection of statewide union contracts — eviscerated the rights of public sector workers across the state. Actions by the Walker Administration in particular include Wisconsin Act 10 and the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget, but also the broader attacks on the rights of women, the protection of the natural environment, and the quality and accessibility of public education. Through protest and mobilization efforts, the TAA has clarified its long-term priority to fight for the restoration and improvement of the rights and living conditions of all Wisconsinites.
The immediate priorities of the TAA include:
1. Rebuilding membership to ensure survival in the post-Act 10 legal environment and building a thriving union.
– By organizing and addressing the needs of current and new members and building a campaign around those needs that all TAA members can support.
– By demanding that the University provide a living wage with robust benefits and humane working conditions to all current graduate employees
2. Putting pressure on the University to improve and maintain affordable, accessible, and meaningful public education
– By putting pressure on the University to improve and maintain the rights of UW workers in the HR Redesign process
– By putting pressure on the University to provide a campus-wide living wage and address the issue of skyrocketing tuition and fees
3. Maintaining an active voice in the recall efforts leading up to June 5th and the state and local political landscape more broadly
– By educating our members and the public on the need to apply continuous pressure on all political candidates to meet the needs of TAA members and all working people of Wisconsin.
– By acknowledging that while the recall election is a significant and historic achievement, it does not guarantee the fulfillment of the priorities of Wisconsinites. Thus, we publicly ask all public sector workers to continue to resist austerity-based policies irrespective of the candidate who takes the recall election.
Therefore, regardless of the outcome of the recall election, the TAA is prepared to take for ourselves 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.