Graduate workers at UW-Madison have received automated emails containing inaccurate due dates for mandatory fees. Mandatory fees, including segregated fees and international student fees, are due on the first Friday after the third paycheck for all graduate students with an assistantship.This year, fees are due on December 6th, not in September (as listed in MyUW).
In 2018, graduate workers came together in direct action and won the current fee payment policy. Without the flexibility ensured by this policy, grads would have to pay more than $700 after a summer without pay. This month, TAA department stewards listened to the stories of grads who were misinformed by the administration’s inaccurate emails and who were forced to take out loans to pay the fees before their first paycheck.
The co-presidents of the TAA sent a letter to the Bursar’s office on Friday, September 20th requesting that administrators take immediate public steps to correct the misinformation for which they are responsible. They received no substantive response (although one administrator suggested that it would simply be impossible for their software to reflect their own policy).
Graduate workers at UW-Madison are tired of an administration that prioritizes software over students, middle-managers’ convenience over our own subsistence, bureaucracy over workplace democracy. Mandatory fees are a burden, and the hardship caused by these inaccurate emails is a demonstration that the University will be a better place when graduate workers win full fee relief.
Sign the TAA’s petition for fair pay, fee relief, quality policies, and workplace democracy: bit.ly/dontpushgradworkers.