WMU trustees approve contract with teaching assistants

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO--Acting at their June 7 meeting, Western Michigan University trustees approved terms of a new three-year contract with the University's Teaching Assistants Union that is effective for the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

The contract elements were ratified by the WMU chapter of TAU during a May 23 union vote. They include:

  • A 1 percent wage increase for graduate assistants at both the master's and doctoral levels, while doctoral associate wages remain frozen for the term of the contract.
  • A lump sum per-semester payment to all graduate assistants of $75 for 2012-13, $50 for 2013-14 and $25 for 2014-15.
  • One additional credit hour per semester for graduate assistants during each of the contract years, taking the level from six to seven credits in the first year, to eight credits in the second year and ending at nine credits during the final year of the contract.
  • An annual health care premium subsidy of $1,025 for all TAU members who participate in WMU's health care insurance program.

The current TAU contract expires Aug. 22. Union and administration officials began negotiating the new contract in November 2011.

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.