TAA 2007-2009 Contract Summary

Our Vice President of Bargaining Kevin Gibbons and bargaining staffer Rob Henn put together a fact-sheet for the new 2009-2011 contract. Take a look below and let us know if you have any questions or if you’d like to receive a .pdf copy.

On Wednesday, October 28, Governor Jim Doyle signed our new contract into law. Huzzah! Here’s a guide to the new TAA contract; a guide to exactly how you, working through your union, have made the lives of you and your fellow employees at the UW-Madison better. Key parts are in bold.

New Wage Rates

There are now two tiers of TA experience: Standard and Senior. The Standard category was created by raising the (former) Regular pay rate (for first-year TAs) up to the level of the (former) Experienced category. As a result, in this contract first-year TAs have earned a 9.25% wage increase! The employees in other categories did very well, too: there will be an over 5% increase for all other TAs, PAs, and Grader/Readers.

The payroll for November was based on the new rates; thus the paycheck on December 1 will be paid based on the new rates. Furthermore, an additional paycheck will be distributed on December 23: this check will offer backpay for the Fall 2009 semester. Specifically, it will cover the difference between the pay received by each PA and TA from July 1 to October 31 and the pay each would have received had the contract been approved before July 1. This amount will differ from person to person because it is based on the terms of his or her appointment.

Lump Sum Payments for those on the April 2009 Payroll

The Short: Non-hourly TAs and PAs on the April 2009 payroll will receive a check or deposit of $718.62.

The Long: This is not “backpay” (i.e. pay for time worked in the past), but an attempt to recognize that the contract ideally would have been ratified in the Spring semester, and to pay those non-hourly TAs and PAs who were working then accordingly. The lion’s share of this payment ($623.62) represents an equal distribution of all the money not spent on TAs and PAs by the State of Wisconsin during the 2007-2009 period, minus the slightly higher health care premium payments owed by TAs and PAs during the same period.

Note: If you were on the April 2009 payroll but are no longer a student/employee at UW-Madison, you must keep your bank account and/or contact information up-to-date to receive the lump sum payment. You can do that here.

The following amounts will be distributed on December 1st, in addition to a paycheck at the new, higher pay rate:

* $95 lump sum to all TAs/PAs on the April 2009 payroll except those paid solely as Grader/Readers.

* $623.62 lump sum to TAs & PAs on the April 2009 payroll except hourly PAs and Graders/Readers.

Note: For those who are entitled to both lump sums, they will be combined into one check or deposit of $718.62.

Other Highlights of the New Contract

* Guaranteed job postings on the web for open positions

* Guaranteed access to a computer with internet and printing capability, plus necessary software

* Greater variety of diversity training options

* Higher standards for good supervisor behavior

* Guarantee of three clean and well-equipped lactation rooms on campus

* Higher mileage reimbursement rate for required car and motorcycle use

* Expanded definition of TAs’ “experience” to include K-12 teaching as well as other college teaching

* Guidelines for the TAA’s access to department orientations

* Only a reasonable and modest increase in health care costs (from $13.50 to $15.50 for single plans, from $34 to $39 for family plans)

* Increased funding for child care

* Expanded use of sick leave to include half-days

* Nearly comprehensive policy for catastrophic leave of absence (a leave of absence necessitated by illness or need to care for family members). This policy generally allows for:

o Continued health insurance for the balance of the semester (up to 5 months)

o Continued tuition remission despite the need to withdraw early in the semester

o Payment of stipend up to the last date of attendance at work

o Access to the Dean of Students’ emergency fund