Contract Still Closed

At this past Friday’s Welcome Back Happy Hour, we held a brief General Membership Meeting to cover one agenda topic: Did we want to re-open our tentative agreement with the State and with UW to give back our scheduled pay raises which will go into effect when the contract is ratified?

Overwhelmingly, we voted “no.”

We the members of the TAA had been asked to give back the wage increases scheduled for our new contract (including a roughly 10% wage increase for new grad assistants) because of some State and UW budget gamesmanship and tomfoolery. The Executive Board of the TAA, made up of elected members of our union, put forward a recommendation and motion at this past Friday’s General Membership Meeting to reject the request to give back our wage increases.

As we voted upon the motion, a few voices spoke up in favor of adopting the motion, while a few more had questions on practical implications. Ultimately, out of the hundreds of attendees at the Welcome Back Happy Hour and the General Membership Meeting, a voice vote was sufficient to adopt the motion, reject the request, and to keep our wage increases.

Now, we turn toward passage of the tentative agreement, which has still not been carried forward by the Office of State Employment Relations – with whom we actually negotiate our contract – and the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations. We continue to expect that they will ratify the contract in the fall legislative session and that our “new” (2007-2009) contract will go into effect sometime soon this semester.