WMU trustees approve four-year contract with teaching assistants

Contact: Paula M. Davis

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved a new four-year contract with the University's Teaching Assistants Union.

The union's current contract with WMU expires Aug. 21, and the new pact will run through Aug. 19, 2022.

The approximately 500 members of the Teaching Assistants Union—TAU—include assistants with appointments that range from one-half to full time, with about 72 percent of the members having full appointments.

Effective Wednesday, Aug. 22, under the new contract:

  • Wages for union members will increase 2 percent for each year of the contract for its members, which include graduate assistants, doctoral graduate assistants and doctoral associates awarded candidacy.
  • Teaching assistants returning to an appointment for a second or subsequent academic year will receive a one-time payment of $75 during each fall and spring semester in recognition of their academic success during the prior year of employment.
  • Teaching assistants who are on appointment and do not use the full amount of their allotted credits of tuition remission during either the fall or spring semesters may defer the unused credits to the subsequent summer I or summer II session. Classes taken must be part of the teaching assistants' advisor-approved graduate program of study.

Negotiations for the contract began in February. A tentative agreement was reached June 12. Union members ratified the contract during a vote June 22.

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