Undergrad TAs of the School of Computer Science & Engineering 14x series recently won a huge victory through organizing and collective action, as detailed in this op-ed in the UW Daily!
Despite being an integral component of the department’s large 14x class series, undergrad TAs had not been paid for their training, and were being asked to do unpaid TA work (holding “grading parties”) during a course that TAs were mandated to sign up for. This was a clear violation of our contract, and union members in CSE organized to address this. They filed a grievance with management in the fall quarter, and through countless 1-to-1 conversations with other TAs they turned out nearly 200 TAs to sign onto a petition.
Ultimately through strong organizing, members moved UW administration to agree to fully pay undergrad TAs for training going forward, as well as to guarantee back pay of $420 for each TA, totaling over $50,000. This victory is just one example of the power of collective action,1-to-1 organizing, and a strong contract holds for us as a union.
To get involved in organizing in your department, reach out to the organizing committees: firstname.lastname@example.org for Academic Student Employees (undergrad-organizing@uaw4121.