This past week, the Teaching Assistants Union took action. The university was charging some members of our union extra fees for taking program related courses online. We filed a grievance, participating in two hearings with the administration, and after two denials, we collectively filed a demand to arbitrate. Over the past week, many of you have signed our petition and on Thursday, forty of us delivered those petitions to Provost Greene. I’m happy to say that before our action on Thursday the administration agreed to reimburse any TAs charged additional tuition for taking program related courses off-campus or online. If you think you qualify for reimbursement, please fill out the form here. It is clear that the university knew about the Nine Means Nine action, that they understood this issue is important to our members, and we’re grateful they decided to remedy a portion of our grievance.
With all that said, we are not done. WMU is charging international students out of pocket costs for English courses, even though they are already teaching courses as TAs. Furthermore, we still believe our contract is simple and clear and that each TA should receive nine credits with no qualifiers or modifiers.
So, what’s next? As a group, we need to decide whether to pursue arbitration over the remaining issues. Independent of arbitration, we also need to organize around these issues and place public pressure on the university. Join the organizing committee and help us enforce our current contract and secure a better one for next year. The last organizing committee meeting of the semester is on Monday, December 1, from 9:30 am to 11 am in the Wesley Center Basement. All members of the union are eligible and encouraged to join the committee.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.