Do you ever wonder what your dues pay for?
Most of the work that TUGSA does is performed by volunteer labor, but we have a number of financial responsibilities to cover, including:
- Office rent, including utilities, liability insurance, office supplies, copier, and trash removal service.
- Membership in larger professional organizations, such as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). These organizations pay for TUGSA’s 2 paid staff; they help us negotiate our contracts; and they help us in a myriad of other ways. Maybe most importantly, they help pick up the tab whenever TUGSA needs to hire a lawyer to represent a graduate student employee with a workplace grievance.
- TUGSA has clout with the administration to the extent that we have members. It only makes good sense to spend some of our money on recruiting new members, and on increasing TUGSA’s visibility. We therefore need to spend money on maintaining a website, hosting events, purchasing promotional materials such as t-shirts and buttons, offering incentives such as the Solidarity Grants Program, etc.
- Sometimes we send some of our volunteers to a conference, to keep informed on issues and to keep TUGSA visible to the people and organizations who can help us.
- TUGSA is sometimes asked to contribute to various charities. We can’t help much, but we try to give a little.
It’s all money well spent. TUGSA has vastly improved the standard of living for all TAs and RAs. Your $35-40 a month helps to guarantee that we can continue securing benefits like raises and free health insurance that are worth thousands of dollars to TAs and RAs every year.
We will be posting specifics about the 2017-2018 budget soon.