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TA-GA Professional Development Fund Applications Now Being Accepted

Submitted by Staff on Tue, 11/10/2015 - 15:51


The TA-GA Steering Committee, headed by Dilara Demir, has started alerting Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants about applications being accepted for the TA-GA Professional Development Fund for the the Fall 2015 round. The deadline to get the application submitted is November 23, 2015. Follow the instructions on the application form and ask for a tutorial to be held in your department.

Here is the application form to download in order for you to apply for the TA-GA Professional Development Fund. The deadline is November 23, 2015. Request a union-sponsored tutorial to take place in your department today!

On November 10, 2015, Dilara Demir wrote to her TA-GA Colleagues:

I'm writing to give you an update on the recent negotiations between our union, the AAUP-AFT, and management over the issues related to the rollout of our Professional Development Fund (PDF). Many of you will have seen the recent emails from graduate directors about the next application deadline of November 23rd for the fund.

Here is the application form to download for Fall 2015, including eligibility requirements and instructions.

A few weeks ago, a delegation of TAs and our union's executive director met with the central administration and pushed them to make several changes demanded by working graduate students like you. Among them were:

1) Demands that all applicants for PDF money be given responses to their application if they were not awarded the full amount of money, or any at all, so that we can better write applications in the future.

2) Establishing another application period during the Fall semester so that we can access money all year round.

3) Centrally funding the PDF money so that our departments don't suffer from the administration's new budgeting model, RCM.

4) Creating proportional funding for the different campuses, to ensure that TAs and GAs at Newark and Camden receive their fair share of funding.

Because of our protest at Old Queens and our organizing on all campuses, in this negotiating session our team won all of the above listed demands. The letter you received from your graduate director is in response to our efforts. Because there will be two rounds to apply throughout the year, one-third of the money will be given out during the academic year when we have access to our normal salary, so the dollar amount limit of $700 represents an effort to get money out to more graduate student workers during the academic year. More people will benefit from the funds this way. During the summer, however, we agreed to the maximum amount to $3,000 so that, again, more people will have access to the growing fund. Two-thirds of the money will be available during the summer, and though this represents a lower possible maximum award, this is in response to the feedback we received from members and we think it will work more equitably to deliver more dollars for professional development.

In setting up the application periods, we wanted to sync up with the funds available through the graduate schools. For example, if you applied for conference travel funds through GSNB by November 1, you should now know if you were approved and can decide if you should ask for funds through the TA/GA PDF or leave those funds for others. For the summer of 2016, the TA/GA PDF deadline of May 1 will allow you to know whether or not to apply for GSNB funds by its June 1 deadline.

If you and your colleagues in your department are interested in having a union representative come to your department to give a brief tutorial on the best practices for applying for the fund, please respond to this email and we will work quickly to set up a time before the November 23rd deadline. We're available to help during the times that work best for you. Let us know!

Dilara Demir
TA/GA Steering Committee

Rutgers AAUP-AFT
11 Stone Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Office phone: (732) 964-1000
Fax: (732) 964-1032



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