Are you interested in directly impacting your pay, benefits, and working conditions?

GTAC is seeking energetic and passionate GTAs who are interested in developing improving the lives of graduate workers at the University of Kansas by negotiating our 2020 employment contract.

The Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition, AFT Local 6403 is a labor union comprised of over 1,000 graduate workers at the University of Kansas. Labor unions have done more than any other institution in this country to challenge the growing imbalance of priorities within academia by making immediate and tangible improvements to the lives of gradate workers and by taking our collective power back from administrators. AFT is widely recognized as one of the strongest and most militant public worker unions with many successful and powerful graduate worker locals across the country.

The 2020 GTAC Contract Negotiations Team is comprised of researchers, writers, and tablers.
  • Researchers gather data about the pay, benefits, and working conditions of GTAs and other academic workers across the country to assist our tablers and writers.
  • Writers use this research to draft the specific wording of the proposals that will become our contract and help analyze the proposals made to us by KU administration.
  • Tablers take these proposals and go face-to-face with KU admin to directly negotiate for fair pay, benefits, and working conditions for all GTAs at the University of Kansas.
Researchers and writers will be teamed on a specific topic, either Economics, Healthcare, or Working Conditions.
  • Economics are things that cost money, like our salaries, tuition waivers, and course fees.
  • Healthcare involves the types of plans available to workers, the amount of our subsidies (money KU pays towards our plans), and who is eligible for those subsidies.
  • Working Conditions are centered around our day-to-day working situations, having a real voice in our workplace, and being respected as working professionals; past topics have included the right to free instructional materials, a right to office space and building access equal to that of faculty, transportation, campus safety, and gaining guaranteed seats on the committees which make the decisions that affect our daily lives.
How much time will this take?

While the time commitment will vary based on KU's negotiation tactics, we can anticipate that Researchers will spend about 10 hours completing their initial research and up to two hours each week involving their topic completing follow-up research while Writers will spend around 15 hours reading the research and drafting proposals for their topic, and around 3-4 hours per week involving their topic analyzing KU's proposals and editing our counter-proposals. Because proposals in each topic will not be countered every single week, different topic teams will have work in different weeks.

The time commitment for Tablers can be difficult to predict. In 2016, GTAC simply negotiated a small raise, which took about three hours per day over two days for a total of six hours. In 2018, when we revamped over half of our employment contract, the Tablers spent a minimum of 1.5 days each week over the course of three months, with some breaks for holidays. Our current best estimate is that it will be less time than 2018 and more time than 2016.

Our 2020 GTAC Contract Negotiations Team will negotiate the worker contract which covers all GTAs at KU. While GTAC members will have a final say in whether we accept or reject the terms and proposals negotiated by our team, joining the Negotiations Team is still the best way to directly and positively impact your pay and working conditions at the University of Kansas.

Researchers must have:
  • Strong personal planning and time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Ability and willingness to attend some team meetings related to your topic
  • Ability to communicate effectively, respectfully, and comfortably with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Commitment to remain engaged in your role throughout the negotiations process
  • The ability to research complicated topics and reduce this information to accessible wording
Writers must have:
  • Strong personal planning and time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Ability and willingness to attend some team meetings related to your topic
  • Ability to communicate effectively, respectfully, and comfortably with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Commitment to remain engaged in your role throughout the negotiations process
  • Connect with the vision and goals of our membership
  • The ability to use the provided research to develop our goals into precise and accessible language
Tablers may take a variety of roles, from notetaking to acting as the spokesperson. In general, tablers must have:
  • Strong personal planning and time management skills
  • Ability and willingness to attend day-long table sessions and related team meetings
  • Ability to communicate effectively, respectfully, and comfortably with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Commitment to remain engaged in your role throughout the negotiations process
  • Connect with the vision and goals of our membership
  • Active listening and analysis skills
  • Emotional and facial control (have a good "poker face")
  • Aptitude for patience and a collaborate and problem solving attitude
Writers and Tablers for the 2020 GTAC Contract Negotiations Team must be dues paying members of our union. Researchers are highly encouraged to be members or to become a dues member at: tinyurl.com/JoinGTAC If you are unsure of your member status, please call Patty Chilton at 785-235-0262 to confirm your membership status.
International workers, non-cis-men, non-heterosexual workers, Indigenous/Native and/or workers of color, and other workers with marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to volunteer for any of these roles.

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* 1. Legal Name
(If your legal name does not match your preferred name and you are volunteering as a Researchers or Writer, please skip this question. If you are volunteering as a Tabler, your legal name will be required.)

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* 2. Preferred Name

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* 3. Telephone Numbers (Format: 7858675309)

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* 4. Email Addresses

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* 5. Are you interested in volunteering to be a Researcher, a Writer, or a Tabler? Please check all that apply.

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* 6. Please describe your skillset as related to the role/s for which you are volunteering.

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* 7. Our negotiations will be split into three topics. Researchers and Writers will be teamed by topic. Please rank your topics in order from top to bottom, with top indicating most interest and the bottom indicating least interest. If you are only interested in volunteering as a Tabler, please choose N/A.

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* 8. Please describe your interest in this topic.

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* 9. In what departments are you employed as a GTA? (Dept name/FTE)

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* 10. In what departments are you a student?

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* 11. Number of semesters completed

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* 12. Anticipated number of semesters remaining

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* 13. Do you hold any elected positions at the University of Kansas? If so, please list below. If not, please type N/A.

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* 14. Do you hold any non-elected leadership or officer positions at the University of Kansas? If so, please list below.

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* 15. Are you involved in any organizations at the University of Kansas, other than already listed? If so, please list below.

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* 16. Are you currently a dues-paying member of GTAC?

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* 17. Describe your experience with GTAC. What activities have you participated in?

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* 18. Why do you want to volunteer for the 2020 GTAC Contract Negotiations Team?

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* 19. Do you speak multiple languages? If so, which languages?

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* 20. Would you like to share any marginalized identities?
(Your response/s will be used for the express purpose of selecting a diverse team and will not be shared.)

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* 21. Please tell us your age range. (This question is optional but will help us select a team which is diverse and representative of our unit.)

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