Let’s stand together! Coalition Meeting – 6 Dec 2016


TO ALL GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS on the campus of KU and in the city of Lawrence who express solidarity with the vulnerable and who stand against the rhetoric of hate in our current social and political climate, we call on you to join together to form a sustained community coalition to act in advocacy for these shared values.

The need for groups and individuals to come together and protect the rights and lives of everyone in our community and nation has never been more urgent.  We need to send a strong and unified message to all that we will not back down or be silent in the face of misogyny, racism, and bigotry. We call for this coalition to be an inclusive and civil community of voices that can form a collective response based on multiple standpoints and perspectives. With these goals in mind, we need inter- and cross-coalitional support among organizations, on KU’s campus and in the wider Lawrence and Douglas County community. We acknowledge that the greatest strength, conviction, and character we possess is in hearing and celebrating the intersectionality of our identities and supporting each other via communal efforts directly informed by the lived experiences of those around us.

December 6, 7:30pm, at the ECM, we’ll be meeting to talk about building a coalition of student and community groups in the Lawrence area.

A major goal of this coalition is to create a lasting network of solidarity among student organizations and the community. As a labor union, GTAC recognizes the power of collective action, but it must come from and be supported by the full diversity of our community. With this in mind, we hope this coalition will aid Lawrence and the KU community by identifying and insisting upon actionable and implementable responses to injustice in our community and in larger society. We want to be a source of vigilant advocacy for the uncertain future many now face. In this spirit, we urge the city of Lawrence and the University of Kansas to declare a status of sanctuary for groups of people whose safety and civil rights are under threat by the current political climate.   We are also encouraging participation in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, 2017, to connect with the national solidarity that’s building around our shared values and concerns over the rights and lives of all people. We are promoting organized bussing and working together to find housing for all who are interested in attending.  We need your group’s experiences, concerns, and ideas for solutions in order to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.  We hope you will join with us in working toward social justice.

This is an open invitation to community organizations and groups at KU and in Lawrence. If you are interested in attending this meeting, please get in touch with David Cooper at davydooks [at] gmail [dot] com.

KU (Tries) To Cut GTA Health Insurance

Citing a “federal ruling,” KU will stop offering subsidized health insurance to its graduate student employees.

In a letter sent from the Office of the Provost, KU alerted its GTAs, GRAs, and GAs, that beginning on August 1, 2017, they will need to obtain and pay for their own health insurance. Currently, KU pays for 75% of the insurance premiums for students that have a full appointment–teaching two classes or working about 20 hours a week. Since graduate employees already pay for part of their insurance premiums, this likely constitutes a 300% increase in what they will pay.

Updated: 9/28/16, 9:20 PM

The “federal ruling” cited in the email is an interpretation of the Affordable Care Act, the same that caused the University of Missouri to threaten to cut graduate employees’ health insurance last year. The school reversed its decision after students threatened to walkout.

The Human Resources Department has scheduled two informational meetings about this decision.

Friday, Sept. 30, 11:45 am to 1 pm, 204 JRP Hall
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 4:45 pm to 6 pm, 204 JRP

Updated: We won!

Our hard-earned subsidies will remain intact! #solidarity

GTAC Officer Election Results – Spring 2015

The Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition, AFT Local 6403 announces the following new officers:

  • President – Shane Willson
  • Secretary – Reilly Shwab
  • Treasurer – Laurie Petty
  • Grievance Resolution Committee Chair – Laurie Petty
  • Communications Committee Chair – Emily J. Kennedy
  • Negotiation Committee Chair – Reilly Shwab
  • Membership Committee Chair – David Cooper

Thanks to the GTAC Elections Committee members Nathan Collins and Jacob Lipsman for running the balloting room for three days.