Madison, April 26, 2018: Mandatory Fee “Work-In”

Hosted by TAA – Graduate Worker Union of UW-Madison

500 Lincoln Drive, Bascom Hall, Madison, 11:30 A.M. – 3 P.M. 

Bring your grading, bring your thesis, bring your students. Take action to improve our working conditions!

A Work-In is a way to demonstrate the often invisible or unrecognized labor graduate workers do to support the university. On April 26th, we will bring our work to them — we’ll occupy the administration’s space while doing our work together.

Write lesson plans, write your dissertation, grade papers, do data entry, hold office hours, even hold class! The University works because we do. Bascom Hall works because we do.

Learn more below or at

Background on the mandatory fees campaign:
Two weeks ago, more than 100 grad workers showed up to deliver a seg fee petition with over 1000 signatures to our administrators, opposing a unilateral policy requiring grads to pay mandatory fees before we’re paid, or pay to enroll in a payment plan. We’ve had nearly 500 one-on-one conversations with our colleagues about the issue of mandatory fees, empowering them to take action to improve their working conditions. We’ve collected hundreds of stories depicting how these mandatory fees adversely affect the success and well-being of graduate workers.

Our organizing pressured administrators to sit down directly with a dozen graduate workers and listen to the ways mandatory fees cause material hardship—a conversation these admin have never tried to have. We told our administrators to use Spring Break to develop a fee policy that helps, not hurts, graduate workers.

This week, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration said that he was pushing for a policy that would give us twelve weeks of flexibility before paying fees, but he would not yet guarantee this flexibility nor commit funding for graduate workers’ mandatory fees.

The Goal:
By the end of the semester, our administrators will agree to a policy that includes:
1) No change to the current (2017-2018) graduate fee payment policy
2) Working toward full remission of mandatory fees (including, but not limited to, segregated fees and international student fees) for grad workers
3) That this remission is covered by the university, that it will not come from funds that would otherwise be allocated for undergrads.
4) Graduate worker consultation and inclusion in any future changes to our payment policy

We can win, but we need your help. Please share widely!

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