The election results are in and congrats to next year's officers (starting May 1st):

  • Eric Denby, President
  • Codie Stone, Vice President
  • Brianna Forbis, Treasurer
  • Brandon Soderman, Communications

Any many thanks for the hard work and dedication of our current officers:

  • Robin Blanchard, President
  • James Schwass, Vice President
  • Ashish Gupta, Treasurer
  • Eric Denby, Communications

Representatives from the Teaching Assistants Union at Western Michigan University ASKED the Board of Trustees to eliminate non-resident tuition rates for all students with funded graduate assistantships at today's Board of Trustees meeting.  Robin Blanchard (President), Eric Denby (Communications Officer), and Brianna Forbis (Psychology Department Representative) all spoke on the inequality and burden out-of-state tuition causes all Graduate Assistants.

Please take a moment to view both our press release and prepared statements HERE!

Are you concerned with YOUR FUNDING?  Has your department begun to REDUCE TAs or appointment levels?  STAND WITH US at the next Board of Trustees meeting.  Robin Blanchard, Eric Denby, and Brianna Forbis will be presenting their concerns with tuition levels.

Wednesday, April 9
Meet at 12:30 PM at the Bernard Center, Room 157
Meeting starts at 1 pm

TAU has been fighting hard to reduce the out-of-state tuition rates for all Teaching Assistants. We are concerned that the Board of Trustees do not understand the hardships these rates place on teaching assistants.

Help secure FAIR Tuition for all Teaching Assistants by showing your solidarity at the next Board of trustees meeting. In addition to having some of our colleagues speak about tuition inequality to the board, we are planning a peaceful and respectful show of union strength prior to the meeting.

 

We've had a busy few weeks here at the Union.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • F.A.I.R. Tuition Forum:  We had a great turnout on Monday, March 24 for the FAIR forum.  Although the President, Provost, and VP of Budgeting would not attend, Dean Stapleton, of the Graduate College, was nice enough to come and answer some of our questions.  Please take a moment to REVIEW OUR FAIR RESOLUTION.  We plan on presenting our plans at the next Board of Trustees Meeting on April 9.  We'll be calling most of you to see if you can attend.  We want to show the Board that we are serious about reforming the way in which graduate students are funded, especially with regards to the inequality regarding in-state and out-of-state Teaching Assistant tuition.
  • Spring Membership Meeting:  Many thanks to those of you who could attend our recent membership meeting.  In addition to updating the membership on our fight for fair health care and fair tuition, we were also able to pass four new bylaws, mainly dealing with officer and bargaining team stipends and annual executive reports.  You may view all of our bylaws by clicking here and minutes here.
  • TAU Professional Development Grant:  We were pleased to present six members a $200 professional development grant.  Over 40 members applied.  Winners were chosen by random drawing.  Congratulations to Matt Reid (Sociology), Jack Goodman (History), McKenna Corlis (Psychology), Rebecca Emanuelson (English), Lindsy Demarest (Comparative Religion), and Rachel Syens (History).  NEXT YEAR'S GRANT application process will begin on January 1, 2015.

There are substantial changes taking place in the way WMU funds graduate assistantships. As a direct result of the administration’s negligence in not increasing the budget for GA tuition after TAU negotiated an increase from 6 to 9 paid credits per semester, WMU may cut GA positions and may drastically reduce summer funding.

Join us on Monday, March 24 at 6pm for the FAIR TUITION FORUM
Located in 1920 Sangren Hall
Dean Stapleton will be in attendance.  Other administrators have been invited.
Light cookies and snacks 

Here is what we know:
• The administration has not increased the DA/GA tuition budget to reflect the increase from 6 to 9 paid credit hours for GAs negotiated during our last contract;
• WMU forces departments to "pay" tuition for non-resident DA/GAs (roughly half of all DA/GAs) at non-resident rates, meaning out-of-state and international students cost their departments more money.  See TAU's F.A.I.R Tuition resolution for more info.
• The Graduate College will soon centralize the payment of all DA/GA tuition, covering the increased tuition costs by eliminating GA positions and/or limiting opportunities for summer funding, which many GAs rely on to continue their studies through the summer.
• If WMU eliminates the non-resident tuition premium for all graduate assistants, we can avoid GA/DA cuts and potentially create new assistantship opportunities. 
What can we do?
• First, read the newly adopted F.A.I.R. Tuition Resolution from the TAU, where we call on the administration to treat all TAs the same regarding tuition rates;
• Second, sign a copy of the resolution circulating around your department and encourage other students and faculty to sign.  If you don't know who your TAU department rep is email kevin@wmfce.org now;
• Third, please share your stories with us. Has your department discussed this new model with any of you? Has your department typically given summer funding in the past? Are there any discussions on how summer funding may work in the future? Have you had any discussions regarding resident/non-resident tuition in your department?