Newsletter – 23 January 2020

Welcome back from Winter Break! In this newsletter, we’re gonna talk about our UPCOMING VOTE FOR OUR NEGOTIATIONS TEAM and our upcoming events but let’s start with some real talk about our union.

Top: GTAC/AFT-Ks Members & Family on the strike line with the UAW
Middle: GTAC Members in front of the Watson Library after a fair pay demand
which led to our November raises for all graduate workers, faculty, and staff
Bottom: GTAC/AFT-Ks Members & Family w Ks Secy of Labor Delia Garcia
and union organizer and worker’s right icon Dolores Huerta

Last year, we stood together to fight for a better University for ourselves as graduate teachers and for our undergraduate students, faculty colleagues, and support staff. We are proud to have been a part of victories that are making grad worker lives better here at KU including our November raises! But our struggle isn’t over – as we gear up for contract negotiations this spring, it’s time for everyone to pitch in so here are four easy ways to help:

#1: Join our union! KU keeps an eye on our membership numbers to gauge our strength. More members = more raises! Level up to become a dues-paying member here!

#2: Take the survey! Surveying helps the Negotiations Committee gather a comprehensive understanding of grad worker priorities and tells us what to fight for! Please take our online survey to inform our priorities!

#3: Know your contract! Did you know that you have a 35-page contract with the University of Kansas which outlines your rights as a GTA? Do you have questions about your work as a GTA, or where the line is between GTA work and student work? Are you concerned about graduate and international worker exploitation at KU?

Come to GTA Contract 101 (with free dinner!) on Thursday, February 6th at 6pm at the ECM at 1204 Oread! You deserve to know the ins and outs of your own employment contract, including common misunderstandings about worker’s rights in Kansas, hours of work, appropriate job duties. RSVP here!

#4: Join our political team as we lobby the statehouse for worker’s right and higher education funding! Email to join our political team.

Join us for our first General Meeting of the Spring 2020 semester on Thursday, January 30th from 7:30-9:30pm. We will be voting on how to appoint our Negotiations Team, who will negotiate our new contract with KU admin so it is vitally important to attend this meeting if you want a say in your pay, healthcare, and working conditions. Check out the agenda here! Free dinner will be provided with vegan and gluten-free options, as well as tea, water, and beer. Text Neill Kennedy at 785-817-0351 for childcare and transportation. Click here to RSVP!

In 2018, our GTAC contract negotiations team was able to fight for and win a three-year series of raises for all GTAs, paid sick and family leave, increased worker’s rights and protections, and a number of other concessions from KU administration and we’re back at it again this semester! We’re looking forward to fighting for a living wage, worker healthcare, a fair healthcare subsidy, and other priority changes and we need Researchers, Writers, and Tablers to join our 2020 Negotiations Team. Find out more and volunteer here!

Our 2020 GTAC Contract Negotiations Team will renegotiate the worker contract which covers all GTAs at KU. While GTAC members will have a final say in whether we accept or reject the terms and proposals negotiated by our team, joining the Negotiations Team is still the best way to directly and positively impact your pay and working conditions at the University of Kansas.

Did you know that you’re legally entitled to a free DUO Security Token?
 As public workers, we have the right to keep our work off of our personal phones! We CANNOT be required to use the personal device app. We CANNOT be required to pay for a DUO token. We CANNOT be required to pay for lost or damaged tokens, or for replacement tokens. Even if you have already signed up for the phone app, you are STILL entitled to a Duo Token. Reply to this email to find out how to get one!

Just to recap, join our union here, RSVP for free contract training here, take the survey here, volunteer for the Negotiations Team here, join the political team by emailing, or reply to this email with questions about our upcoming events and political work!

In solidarity,
Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition
AFT Local 6403, AFL-CIO

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