We’re excited to invite you to AFT Michigan’s first Legislative Education Action Day (LEAD) focusing on higher education issues. On March 20, we will meet in Lansing to advocate for the students and faculty of Michigan’s community colleges and universities.
The day will feature a presentation on the proposed higher education budgets and a work session on using storytelling skills in advocacy work. We will invite our legislators to join us for lunch, so we can share first-hand accounts of how budgets affect teaching, learning, and research at community colleges and universities. We will also spend time in the afternoon developing skills and plans for locals to engage in legislative action year round, in addition to discussing ways to impact the election in November.
At the end of LEAD, we will have not only advocated for our students and faculty and the institutions in which they teach and study, but put together concrete plans for continuing this vital work for the coming months.
We hope you’ll join us! Please RSVP at http://action.aft.org/c/368/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=11806 or call AFT Michigan’s Detroit office at 313.393.2200. If you have any other questions related to LEAD, please contact Julie Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All departments are required to notify us (if we applied) if we have a TA position for Summer 2014 by March 31 and Fall 2014 by April 22. This notification was a hard fought battle to give us some job security and the ability to plan. It’s important that we enforce this benefit. If you do not hear a YES or NO from your department by March 31st (April 22) – contact the Union office immediately. We will contact the University on your behalf and if you do not receive a letter within three days – you will be eligible for 2 weeks additional pay.
A couple of details…
1. If your department offered you a year long appointment then they have satisfied the provision.
2. Email notifications are okay – but don’t delete them!
3. The letters need to say yes or no, definitively. The language cannot say, you have a job pending budget allowances or anything like that. A clear yes or no is what you need to have in your hand.
If you have questions, please email the office at email@example.com.
Join your friends and fellow GEU members for our last General Membership Meeting of the academic year.
Beggar’s Banquet (map) 218 Abbott Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823
Wednesday, April 2
Proposed Agenda items include:
- Eating delicious appetizers
- Having a beverage (or two)
- High-fiving and smiling as we celebrate our successful “MSU Overdue” grievance campaign
- Meeting the 2014-15 Executive Board candidates
- Treasurers Report
- Member’s Privilege
Teaching Assistants needing additional credits for the Summer 2014 semester should apply for the Tuition Waiver pool. Applications are due by 5 pm on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
If you are a teaching assistant this coming summer (2014) your tuition waiver will cover 5 credit hours. If you need to take additional credits, you are not out of luck, though! During GEU’s most recent contract bargaining with the university, we negotiated 200 extra tuition waiver credits for our TAs to use. So, if you need to take more than 5 summer credit hours, be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. Click on the following link for details:
GTA Tuition Waiver Pool Application and Details
Keep in mind, once you are awarded extra tuition waiver credits, they cannot be awarded to someone else. So please be responsible and courteous to your fellow TAs when you apply.
As a teaching assistant, do you have (or have you had) an outstanding supervisor? Is your department exemplary in the way that it treats its graduate assistants? If so, then you should consider nominating your supervisor or department (or both!) for a GEU Award.
The nomination process is painless, and you could help us give much deserved recognition to those supervisors and departments who maintain healthy, supportive relationships with their graduate TAs.
If, on the other hand, you have had “less than outstanding” interactions with your supervisor or department regarding your teaching assistantship, please contact the GEU Grievance Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tax season is upon us! Are you wondering about what needs to be reported as income and the possible income tax consequences of fellowships, graduate assistantships, and federal financial aid? Are you an international student with questions about what type of tax return to file and what deductions you may be eligible for? FREE HELP IS AVAILABLE!
Dear TA Dan,
I wanted to gripe about my office space. While I see some TAs in other departments have access to their own work desks, bookcases, and filing cabinets they got us packed in like sardines in one little room! There’s barely enough room to move around when we’re all in here, much less hold office hours for our students. What’s up with that? More importantly, is there anything I can do about it?
Squeezed in South Kedzie
Of course there is something you can do about it! Never underestimate the power of collective action! While we don’t have specific language in the contract for how much office space each graduate student should have, your employing unit is required to arrange access to work space for you for the performance of your T.A. duties. Moreover, it is one of our responsibilities as TAs to hold regular office hours. We need to be able to hold confidential meetings should our students want to discuss private information like grades.
Talk with your fellow TAs in the department about the issue. If you are having a problem, they probably are too. If you and your fellow TAs feel that your office space is not adequate to do your jobs well, please speak with your supervisor or chair right away! They want you to be able to do your job well and will likely be receptive to your concerns. Since space allocation decisions get made at the college level, be cognizant that they might not be able to resolve the issue at the departmental level. Contact the GEU, and we will help you set up a meeting with all of the relevant parties. We have recently had great success in increasing office space for teaching assistants in Statistics, and we are currently working with African American and African Studies TAs to improve their work spaces.
March 20th, 8:30-10:00am (Location TBA)
This 3rd Inside Teaching Lounge offers us an opportunity to think about, share, and discuss our favorite assessments and instructional strategies. Please bring a test or essay prompt, discussion question(s), projects description(s), lab sheet(s), or design plan(s) (or any other assessment or activity that you’re proud of). Snacks and coffee will be provided.
Space is limited – Click here to register!
Interested in representing yourself, your colleagues and your department? Become a GEU Department Steward!
Stewards are an integral and important part of our ability to assist our members. Stewards, once trained, function as union member representatives at work. The steward training is designed to prepare members to recognize potential grievances and investigate and represent bargaining unit members in lower-level grievance hearings and investigatory meetings. Stewards are GEU members who represent GEU and fellow members in their MSU departments.
Being a steward involves a bit more responsibility than just being a member, but the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made a big difference in someone’s life makes it worthwhile.
If you want to know more about how your contract works, how to interpret contract language, what constitutes a grievance, how to deal with management, how to investigate a possible grievance or what rights you have in the workplace as a union member, Stewards Council is for you!
An active group of members can make the difference between having power and being powerless!
Click on the Flyer below for the full schedule of meeting dates and times.
2014 Stews Flyer