TAU has affected great change for Teaching Assistants at Western Michigan University (WMU). In 2007, TAU joined two other instructor-based unions on campus as recognized by the state of Michigan. The full-time faculty (AAUP) and part-time instructors (PIO) are also unionized. As a recognized union, TAU collectively bargains our employee contract with WMU every three years. Our current contract went into effect in 2015, and will continue until 2018 (summary here). TAU is also affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Our members also enjoy the benefits of an AFTmembership, including some significant discounts!
The role of the union is to ensure that all of our TA’s have a safe working and learning environment, free from harrassment and discrimination, with fair and regular compensation, and well-defined terms of employment.
Some of the benefits of TAU’s work include:
- Guaranteed annual raises
- Additional semesterly wellness stipend
- $300 parking pass for employees
- Additional tuition credits
- 5 days of sick leave
- A community of friends and colleagues who support and look out for each other
As you can see in the infograph above, since TAU’s inception in 2007, the base pay for Doctoral Assistants (DA’s) and Graduate Assistants (GA’s) has risen 19%. DA’s and GA’s are both earning over $1,800 more, a number which rises every year.