GTAC Newsletter – 15 August 2020

“It is our duty to fight for freedom. It is our duty to win.” ~Assata Shakur

Dear Comrades,

Right now, KU admin are risking thousands of lives by reopening with no plan to address ventilation, with little to no communication with workers regarding safety procedures, and with no plan for what to do when people start dying. Right now, Douglass County is reportedly preparing for 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in the first week of re-opening. This is unethical, unaffordable, and unacceptable.

Although the rights of most GTAs have been respected, some GTAs are experiencing overt and cruel intimidation tactics to try and force them teach in-person – despite state law guaranteeing our right to choose and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer’s promise to respect that right. We have filed a university-wide grievance to right these egregious wrong but a piece of paper is not enoughWe must support our GTA colleagues by standing together to demand that KU admins prioritize people over profit.

GTAs at KU subsist on $17k salaries without access to state worker healthcare. Bullying vulnerable workers into dangerous working conditions goes against every value of our University – and we’re not alone. We must stand in solidarity with higher education worker unions across the country as we demand science-based and community-informed policies, practical and compassionate working conditions, a living wage, and at least minimally-adequate health insurance.

Join us this afternoon at 1:30pm for a Drive-Thru Protest to kickoff our resistance and opposition to this injustice. Working in-person during a pandemic is our risk, so it must be our choice#OurRiskOurChoice

Join us today at 1:30pm for a Drive Thru Protest!

Drivers & Bikers:

  • 1:30pm: Meet in the parking lot of Abe & Jake’s (One Riverfront Plaza, Lawrence, KS 66044) Collect a pre-printed sign for your window or bring your own! See route below.
  • 1:45pm: Line up at your assigned place.
  • 2:00pm: Start driving! Stay at 10mph, honk and wave, and WATCH for pedestrians and other dangers!
  • 2:30pm: Socially distanced die-in in front of Strong Hall


  • 1:30pm: Collect a pre-printed sign from Love Garden, Game Nut, or bring your own!
  • 1:45pm: Pick a spot on Mass Street from 7th to 11th. Please stay at least 6 feet from one another, respect social distancing, and wear masks over your mouth and nose.
  • 2:00pm: Make some noise for justice!
  • 2:30pm: When the caravan passes feel free to join the die-in at Strong Hall.


  • 7th & Mass Street to 19th Street
  • 19th Street to Naismith
  • Naismith to Jayhawk Boulevard

LAST CHANCE! GTAC Questions for KU: Have you ever wondered how much KU spends on outside consultants? The actual results from the surveys that admins love to vaguely reference? How many International GTAs are employed at our University? Now is the time to get our questions answered! GTAC is compiling our largest ever KORA submission with the most requested information from GTAs. Click here to submit your questions by Monday!

We’re on Facebook! Are you? If so, check out our private GTA-only Facebook Group! Looking for tips or tech support? Come across something that seems… well, a little shady? Want to hear about resources and events? Join our Facebook Group!

Glad to be a part of a labor union? This is a time when our solidarity matters more than ever – click here to become a dues paying member of GTAC.

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

When we fight, we win!

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