As you may have seen, last week’s budget proposal by Congressional Republicans includes a provision to treat tuition waivers as income, subjecting them to taxes. For a typical graduate employee at UW enrolled in a standard Tier 1 PhD program this would result in about $5000 in additional taxes per year.

At a time when 80% of Academic Student Employees report being rent-burdened in Seattle, such a policy change would have a significant impact on our ability to live and work at UW. And it would have a devastating impact on the affordability of academic research nationwide.

Take Action! You can do three things right now:

  • Participate in Our Contract CampaignOur union’s collective bargaining agreement is one of our most important defenses against bad policy emanating from DC.  You can strengthen our campaign by filling out our bargaining survey: the first of many actions this year.  The University – and Congress – pay attention to participation rates, so make sure you’re being counted.
  • Add Your Name to This Petition! Demand that tuition waivers be untaxed and that the GOP Budget be stopped.
  • Call your Congressional Representatives! You can find a number of call scripts here, and locate your Representative here, Senator Murray here, and Senator Cantwell here.

We’ve spoken with several members of our Washington State Congressional Delegation, who have pledged to stop this budget in its tracks. But they need help from constituents like us in speaking out.  Take action now, and let us know by sending an email to if you’d like to participate in any delegation deliveries of petitions to Washington Congress members, and be sure to make it to tomorrow’s membership meeting to continue strategizing.

In Solidarity,
Theresa Aliwarga
Douglas Avella-Castro
Andrea Canini
Anthony Castanza
Ying-Yu Chen
Monica Cortes Viharo
Kristen Garofali
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime
Katya Kolesova
Dylan Mayer
Elizabeth Mills
Chelsea Pagan
David Parsons
Shua Sanchez
Viral Shah
Sam Sumpter
Arash Tarkhan
Judy Twedt