For many of us, it’s the same old story with Cal State Northridge: no health benefits and no fee waiver, even though our UAW contract states that we’re entitled to them. The university apparently doesn’t respect us and doesn’t fear us. Yet, we provide a service to the university that’s essential for its functioning. Without us, professors who rely on us would strike or quit due to ridiculous work loads, and the classes we teach would be filled with empty seats because no instructors, outside of graduate students, would be willing to teach a class for the same wage.
But the health benefits and fee waiver issues seem impossible to manage. If we call Human Resources and ask for our benefits, they tell us that we don’t meet the requirements, even if we go by contract, and that we need to talk to our union, the UAW, if we have any questions about the contract. Then, if we call the UAW, they say they are “trying their best to work things out.”
The CSU and the UAW are both afraid to admit their reasons for inaction. The CSU wants us to believe it’s not a matter between them and us, but that it’s a strict university-union matter, to keep us happy workers. And the UAW wants to maintain that they’re “working things out” to keep us happy dues payers, even though when we vote to strike they refuse to allow us.
It’s time for us to make the UAW and the university accountable. It’s time to let the UAW know how disappointed we are in their inaction. And it’s time to send a shiver down the university’s spine, to make them respect us. We can receive our health benefits and our fee waiver, but we must demand action from the UAW, and if they don’t comply, we must leave the UAW and take matters into our own hands. By signing the letter and petition to the UAW, we’ll begin to change the university’s policy toward TAs, GAs, and ISAs. Please sign by contacting us at CSUN.TAS@GMAIL.COM.
Sincerely, CSUN TA’s, GA’s, and ISA’s for Action
Do you have more to say than a comment? Want any feedback from the writer? Story ideas? Click on The Gripevine.