Letter of Support from the Teaching Assistants Association at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

TAA 1 [Teaching Assistant Association--U Wisonsin-Madison]

Teaching Assistants’ Association

520 University Avenue, Suite 220

Madison, WI 53703

taa@taa-madison.org

www.taa-madison.org

 

We, the Executive Board of the TAA, are writing in support of the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-WSU), who have been on strike since January 22nd. AAUP-WSU’s decision to strike is the culmination of years of overspending and financial mismanagement by WSU’s administration. WSU has imposed contract changes that require faculty to switch health plans that raise members’ premiums, burdening those who are sick and the lowest paid. The imposed contract allows Wright State to use up to 10 furlough days per calendar year, requiring faculty at Wright State to take leave without pay while demanding that they continue their research and service duties to the university. The contract offered by WSU further eliminates the faculty workload agreement that would result in faculty teaching more and larger classes. The imposed contract would threaten job security, as it requires non-tenured faculty to complete 9 years of service before qualifying for further appointments. These demands intensify insecurity of faculty at Wright State, unjustifiably shifting WSU’s financial burdens to faculty members.

AAUP-WSU has continuously acted in good faith, making concessions while the WSU has been unwilling to compromise. The administration’s bad faith has been continually made public, as they have employed tactics to threaten both students and faculty. WSU administrators have implied that student financial aid could be revoked of students refusing to attend classes by replacement instructors. They have further made calls to hire adjunct labor to replace striking faculty members. Wright State has publicly released the names of faculty along with their emails, opening them up to harassment. Such actions are unconscionable, unprofessional, an unsettling.

Faculty at Wright State have built the University’s reputation through their teaching, research, and mentoring. We Stand in solidarity with AAUP-WSU, and we call on Wright State to negotiate in good faith.

Best,

Executive Board of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (AFT-W Local 3220) University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

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