Dear Chancellor Martin:
The Teaching Assistants’ Association requests that you cancel classes and all nonessential university activity on Friday, February 18 in order to stand in solidarity with striking public employees across the state. The members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison community should show full, unconditional support of the workers whose rights are threatened by the proposed Budget Repair Bill. It is not only the workers of Wisconsin who would be hurt by this bill but also their families, including thousands of students on our campus.
This bill is an affront to democracy on two important levels. First, it proposes to completely eliminate the fundamental human right of fair representation and voice in determining workplace conditions. Second, the process for the passage of this bill has been shamefully undemocratic. Governor Scott Walker has made a mockery of the democratic process in the last week, and the university community should not stand idle and accept this cynicism for the ideals of democracy.
Workers from all over Wisconsin have demonstrated en masse against the anti-union, anti-worker sentiment of this bill, as well as the underhanded, undemocratic manner in which Governor Scott Walker is attempting to push it forward. District Superintendents across the state have canceled class. The Chancellor of Wisconsin’s flagship university should show the same courage and leadership in this time of crisis. There will be rallies across the country tomorrow in solidarity with our efforts here in Wisconsin to stand up for collective bargaining rights and democracy.
Chancellor Martin, we request that you take decisive action in the name of fair representation, democracy, equity, and solidarity. We request that you stand together with the citizens of Wisconsin who refuse to accept the draconian provisions in this Budget Repair Bill and the inexcusable actions of Governor Walker. We request your leadership and support.
Kevin Gibbons and Alex Hanna
Co-Presidents of the TAA