Friday, October 13, 2006

News from the American Federation of Teachers

The October 2006 issue of AFT On Campus, the monthly publication of the American Federation of Teachers higher education division, just came out. It carries three stories about graduate student unionism:

  1. A story of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions conference this August notes that the Coalition passed a reolution pleding to support GSOC.
  2. Temple University's Graduate Student Association has secured a second contract. Provisions include an average of 3% for annual raises, year-round health coverage with a choice of two health plans, better greivance procedures for workload issues, an agency-fee clause that kicks in if the union maintains at least 70% membership, and a plan to investigate child-care options.
  3. At the University of Illinois, where the Graduate Employees Union has been working without a contract for a few months, the union placed ads on billboards around campus just in time for the beginning of the academic year that point out that 30% of UI classes are taught by grad assistants. The university has announced that wages will be frozen until a contract deal is in place in a move designed to discourage grad employees from seeking a better health care deal (only 25% of premium costs are paid).

In other news, The Chronicle of Higher Education has a big article about the strike and union strategy in this week's issue. This link will work for five days from today.


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