As a labor union of graduate workers at UW–Madison, we are committed to:
I. Funding public education in Wisconsin
The public has a right to a well-funded public university system in our state that is representative of and supportive of diverse disciplines. The state must fund education without unfairly increasing the tuition and fees for students of the UW System.
II. Restoring meaningful shared governance to the UW System
All students and workers should be allowed to participate in meaningful shared governance that goes beyond an advisory role. Our universities should model the democracy we expect our society to be. Students at UW–Madison and universities across the state should have the right to oversee the collection and disposition of student fees.
III. Rescinding the international student fee
International students are an important part of our community at UW–Madison. International students already pay higher tuition than both local and out-of-state students—the recent international student fee creates an unfair additional financial burden for these students.
IV. Respecting the labor of all graduate workers
The university currently only recognizes teaching assistants, project assistants, research assistants, and lecturer / student assistants as graduate workers at UW–Madison. We believe that all graduate students who must perform work during the course of their studies—including students in professional programs—should have the right to organize themselves and seek benefits from the university.
Are you interested in organizing the graduate workers in your program? Contact our Stewards Council Chair to start planning how you can advocate for stronger collective rights.
V. Earning fair pay as graduate workers
In addition to our work duties, graduate workers are also full time students. Our work for the university should be compensated so that we can support our families and focus on our studies. Graduate workers should not have to accrue substantial debt while in school or work additional jobs outside the university to attend UW–Madison. Anyone admitted to graduate programs at UW–Madison should be able to study and work at this university—not only the financially advantaged.
Will you support fair pay for graduate workers? Contact our Stewards Council Chair to plan how you can talk to others in your department about this important issue.
VI. Covering mandatory fees for graduate workers
Graduate workers should not have to return up to ten percent of our income to UW–Madison for performing the work of the university. Many of our peer institutions already provide significant coverage of these fees for graduate workers. UW–Madison must cover these burdensome fees that prevent it from attracting and retaining talented and experienced graduate students.
Will you advocate for covering the mandatory fee for graduate workers? Take this survey to share how an additional $1,500 per year would impact you and to lend a hand in our fight on this issue.
Please click here to read our issue statements on these topics if you would like to learn more about our goals.