Media Statement – 19 Sept 2020

KU Graduate Union Celebrates Winning Raises, Benefits for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Lawrence, KS — The Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition (GTAC) at the University of Kansas, American Federation of Teachers Local 6403, declared victory today on behalf of the more than 1,200 graduate teaching assistants the unit represents. The Memorandum of Agreement approved today by the Kansas Board of Regents comes after lengthy negotiations with representatives of the University of Kansas. The contract includes three raises of $750 each over the course of three years, for an academic year 2020-20201 baseline GTA salary of $17,750. Though still not a living wage in Lawrence, the raise represents the largest salary increase for KU GTAS since the union’s inception in 1995. Additionally, the contract includes paid sick and parental leave, support for instructional materials and research, and nondiscrimination protections for transgender GTAs and GTAs of color.

Statement from GTAC President David Cooper:
“At a time when teachers across the country are striking and organizing against low pay, GTAC is proud to have turned huge increases in membership into long-overdue raises and additional benefits for graduate teaching assistants. GTAs at KU teach or grade nearly every undergraduate student, and KU employs nearly as many GTAs as tenure-track faculty. We look forward organizing and building power in the coming years to finally securing a living wage for all KU GTAS.”