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Board approves contract with teaching assistants

April 24, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved a new three-year contract with its Teaching Assistants Union today, increasing both compensation and the number of credit hours of tuition that will be waived for members of the union.

The new contract calls for salary increases of 1 percent the first year, 2 percent the second year and 3 percent the third year. The contract replaces the University's first contract with the union, a two-year agreement negotiated in 2007.

The union, which has more than 500 members, represents WMU's doctoral associates and graduate assistants who hold teaching appointments. It was established in April 2006 after a certified election.

Members of TAU ratified the new agreement on April 9. With the trustees' approval, the contract will now go into effect on Aug. 18.

In addition to the salary increases, members of the union who are pursuing master's degrees will see their tuition waivers increase to six credit hours per semester from the current level of five credit hours. Those pursuing doctoral degrees will remain at nine credit hours of tuition waiver per semester. For all members, the tuition waiver of three credit hours remains unchanged for WMU's two summer sessions.

The contract's other key provision boosts the amount the University contributes to health insurance for teaching assistants. Now subsidized at $800 for a basic plan, a comprehensive plan subsidy of $900 will be offered during the first year. During the second year, the basic/comprehensive amounts will be $850/$900, and during the final year, the subsidies will be $900/$1,000.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400