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TA-GA Actions on Professional Development Funds, Sept 17

Submitted by Staff on Tue, 09/15/2015 - 15:39

TAs and GAs are planning actions on three campuses about our TA/GA Professional Development Fund.

  • At New Brunswick, we’ll be at Old Queens on College Avenue campus on Thursday, September 17 at 12:00 noon. Here’s a link to the Facebook event page:
  • At Newark, TAs and GAs should meet up on the front steps of the Robeson Student Center at 12:00 noon on Thursday, September 17 before sending a delegation to present copies of our petition to the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • At Camden, TAs and GAs should meet at the Walt Whitman statue at 10:30 AM on Thursday, September 17 before sending a delegation to meet with the Provost.

Everyone is encouraged to attend and share their stories about problems with the Professional Development Fund. Please have your colleagues sign the petition and bring copies with you.

To recap the background for this action: About 400 of you applied for money from the fund, which was just recently negotiated by our union in a new contract ratified this past Spring. More than 300 graduate students received some of the money they applied for, totaling over $500,000. But there are problems with the system: we’ve not received any explanation for why and how people were chosen to receive awards, or feedback about how we might apply next time. And the awards were only dispersed last week: months after the initial application period.

And to make matters worse, now the central administration is trying to outsource the cost of the fund that they agreed to pay by billing our departments for the awards we received, rather than simply paying for it out of the massive reserves they have at their disposal. This is creating a real burden for our departments and can potentially jeopardize future awards, especially at Newark and Camden, where graduate education hasn’t received the support it deserves.

We cannot accept the administration trying to change the rules of the game after negotiating with our union. Please confirm that you can attend by contacting the AAUP-AFT office at 732-964-1000 or via email, or for those TAs and GAs who are in the New Brunswick area, signal your intention to participate through the Facebook event page:

We hope to see you there!

Dilara Demir
Chair, TA/GA Steering Committee
Rutgers AAUP-AFT

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