In the spring of 2017, members of the United Faculty and Academic Staff union (UFAS, AFT Local #223) came together to advocate for fair wages and working conditions for Faculty Assistants at UW-Madison. Their campaign was resoundingly endorsed by the Academic Staff Assembly, Faculty Senate, Teaching Assistants Association, and the Associated Students of Madison. In response, university adminstration agreed to increase wages and re-classify many Faculty Assistants under more appropriate job titles.
In retaliation, English as a Second Language Program Director Sandy Arfa informed two leading activists, Alyssa Franze and Jambul Akkaziev, that they will no longer have employment in the program after years of dedicated service. Such retaliation is intended to intimidate employees and discourage them from having a voice in their workplace. UFAS denounces worker intimidation at UW-Madison in the strongest terms and demands the reinstatement of Alyssa Franze and Jambul Akkaziev to the ESL Program.
We, the undersigned, are concerned University of Wisconsin staff, faculty, students, and alumni as well as community members and supporters. We call for the full reinstatement of UFAS members Alyssa Franze and Jambul Akkaziev to the English as a Second Language Program and for an end to worker intimidation at University of Wisconsin-Madison.