Governor Doyle’s 2009-2011 budget, to be revealed Tuesday, is likely to include domestic partner benefits for state employees, including UW system graduate employees, faculty and staff. This budget line will offer health care to all domestic partners of LGBTQ employees, as well as to partners of those heterosexual couples who choose not to marry. UW-Madison is the last school in the Big 10 to not offer domestic partner benefits.
TAA members have been actively trying to win domestic partner benefits for graduate employees since the early 1990s, and have been repeatedly thwarted by hostile majorities in the state legislature.
This fall, through on-campus grass roots member mobilization, and through our members’ involvement in our political program to call and canvass fellow unionists in six contended assembly districts in southern Wisconsin, TAA activists were instrumental in bringing a political climate to Wisconsin that does make a priority of fairness and UW’s competitiveness.
Although a declaration of victory is still premature, it is clear that we can accomplish great things collectively. We need to continue to work collectively to ensure that labor and higher education have prominent voices during the 21st century on the issues and crises of our age.
Click here to read the Wisconsin State Journal Article on DP benefits and the budget.