WMU unions to face off in kickball extravaganza

Friday, March 16 |
7-8:30 p.m. |
WMU Student Rec Center |

It is ON!

Get those knee braces on and get your ice packs ready: TAU has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged us to a kickball game, along with the Professional Instructors Organization (PIO) and AFSCME at WMU. The big event is coming up this Friday!

Those TAU whippersnappers may be younger than we are, they’re probably healthier on average, and they almost definitely have better knees, but we’ve got old age, treachery, and good insurance on our side, so let’s get out there and kick some. . . kickballs!

Admission is FREE FOR STUDENTS to what will surely be a spectacle of awesomeness that won’t soon be forgotten on this campus.

For everyone else, the price of admission is one non-perishable food item for the WMU Food Pantry or a donation to the WMU Invisible Need fund. You can donate online here. (Select ‘Invisible Need’ from the dropdown menu under the ‘Students’ tab.)

The game will be at the WMU Student Rec Center on Friday, March 16, 7-8:30 p.m. Colleagues, we will see you there in your WMU-AAUP colors: red and white!



Join protest against “imminent” Saudi executions of 14 young men, including WMU student

Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat. (Source: Reprieve, a British human rights organization.)

We join our colleagues at AFT-Michigan, along with our AFT-affiliated colleagues here at WMU, the Professional Instructors Organization (PIO) and Teaching Assistants Union (TAU), in condemning in the strongest possible terms the death sentence of admitted WMU student Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat. We are horrified and outraged by the grotesque human rights violations that his arrest, imprisonment, and especially his imminent execution constitute.

A citizen of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Al-Sweikat was admitted to Western Michigan University to begin classes in the fall of 2013 but has never attended the university. In 2012, when he was 17, he was arrested at the airport on his way to the United States. He was charged with participating in pro-democracy demonstrations, convicted, and sentenced to death. He has been in prison ever since.

Reports are now coming out that his execution is “imminent,” according to the London-based human rights advocacy organization Reprieve.

PLEASE CALL THE WHITE HOUSE AT (202) 456-1111 to urge the president, who has developed a close relationship with the Saudi king, to use his influence with the king to try to stop this horrific miscarriage of justice and heinous violation of human rights.

Please also consider signing the petition linked here as a way to stand in solidarity with Mr. Al-Sweikat and 13 other young men sentenced to death along with him for participating in peaceful demonstrations.

Read more about Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat:

From AFT:

From Reprieve:

We Stand with TAU

Support the TAU Grade-In
Mon-Wed, Nov 30-Dec 2, 2015, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
3rd floor, Seibert administration building

From the WMU-AAUP officers and Executive Committee:

As many faculty members may be aware, TAU (the graduate teaching assistants union at WMU) is now engaged in formal talks with the administration about enrollment fees. Currently, graduate teaching assistants at WMU are required to pay about 8 percent of their wages back to the university in the form of enrollment fees. TAU is attempting to negotiate an elimination of these fees.

TAU has requested the support of the the WMU-AAUP for a three-day labor action that TAU is planning for Monday, November 30, through Wednesday, December 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The action is a “grade in,” to take place on the third floor of the Seibert administration building, during which members of TAU will engage in what they describe as “a lawful and peaceful demonstration of the professional work that [they] do as university employees.” This labor action is an attempt by TAU to mobilize their members with the goal of convincing the administration to eliminate enrollment fees for GTAs.

The WMU-AAUP officers and Executive Committee recommend to the faculty that we take a public position in support of TAU in this negotiation. As teachers and mentors to these students, and as members of a professional union that sets the standard for organized labor in higher education, we are choosing to stand with them as they stand up for what they believe is right. And as faculty members, many of us with tenure and all of us with the protections of our union and contractual rights to academic freedom, shared governance, and due process, we want to make sure they know that we have their backs.

To show your support for TAU, please tell your students who are TAU members that you support them, post messages of support on social media, or even stop by to say hello during the grade-in. They’ll be grading-in Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, November 30-December 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Seibert administration building.

For more information, please visit the TAU Facebook page.

#StrongerTogether  #WeStandWithTAU

In solidarity,
The officers and Executive Committee of the WMU-AAUP