Contact: Andrew Bowman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CFA SUPPORTS GEO’S FIGHT FOR TUITION WAIVER GUARANTEES
The Campus Faculty Association expresses its deep disappointment in the massmail sent out on Friday March 2, 2018 by Andreas C. Cangellaris, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The massmail tries to undermine the relationship between graduate workers and faculty. This false narrative about tuition waivers attempts to pit us against each other. It won’t work.
We support the tuition waiver as a part of a graduate package. If any graduate student is hired as a TA or GA to perform the work represented by the bargaining unit (25%-67%), then that graduate employee must be included in the bargaining unit’s contract. In other words, that student must be fully compensated for their employment with a stipend and a full tuition waiver.
There is nothing in the GEO’s proposed contract language that prevents the university or programs from developing new, flexible, and income-generating masters programs. The tuition waiver side letter protects graduate students who are providing invaluable undergraduate instruction so that they are not paying tuition for the privilege of working for income. Were they not to receive waivers, they would be paying to learn and to work. And it would be the end of the GEO.
In addition to being the industry standard, the tuition waiver protections GEO proposes ensure that we continue to attract the BEST graduate students to all of our graduate programs and not just the wealthiest.
We reiterate our call for the University administration to negotiate with the GEO in good faith and to support its commitments to fair, equitable, and excellent graduate education: full tuition waivers, fair benefits and a modest wage increase.
The Campus Faculty Association (CFA) is an independent advocacy organization for faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CFA has been active on the UIUC campus for more than forty years, working on issues of academic freedom, faculty working conditions, and racial and gender equity. To learn more, visit https://cfaillinois.org/.