UFAS Updates: February 2022

Surprise! It’s February! And by the time this newsletter makes it into your inboxes, we’ll have already been a few weeks into the Spring 2022 term. We hope these first few weeks haven’t been too busy and stressful despite these still unprecedented times. And if these weeks have been too busy and too stressful, please accept our sympathy and solidarity. We’re all in this together, and we hope to see you at the General Membership Meeting (GMM) on February 2/21!

As always, various folx within UFAS have been working to effect positive change for workers here at UW-Madison. Here’s the outline of what we’ve got below:

  • What we’ve been up to

    • Supporting UW Nurses action

    • New Website!

    • TTC updates & resources

  • Join current efforts

    • Paid Family leave campaign

    • University Labor Council organizing

    • General Membership Meeting 2/21/2022

  • Meet a member: Dan Fitch!

  • We’re here for each other

    • Mutual Aid Funds Available

    • Join the Discord server!

  • Meetings & linktree

What we’ve been up to

Supporting UW Nurses action

UFAS members (with hats!) and UW Nurse organizers pictured outside of UW Hospital.

UFAS members (with hats!) and UW Nurse organizers pictured outside of UW Hospital. One person holds a sign saying “UW staff support UW nurses”

UFAS members joined UW nurses in their campaign to organize a union, handing out union cards and cookies on a frigid night in December. The hospital has hired union busters, which is making working conditions at the hospital in the midst of the ongoing pandemic even more challenging, but organizers are resolved to make the union a reality. Along with members of the University Labor Council, UFAS believes it’s important to show strong solidarity with UW nurses.

New Website

We have a new website at! We’re making ongoing changes and tweaks to make it as informative and user-friendly as possible. If you have any feedback or want to help, please email to let us know!

TTC updates & resources

TTC formal appeals deadline passed

The extended deadline for academic staff to submit a formal appeal of their new TTC Title passed on February 4. To organize around this, UFAS held an appeals writing party to provide support and solidarity to members working on their appeals.

Resources for all

As mentioned previously, UFAS submitted an Open Records Request for salary, title, and salary grades for every employee impacted by TTC and made that data available to UW-Madison employees on Thursday, November 11th. UFAS Member Harald Kliems used that data to create some great visualizations. Links to those data and tools below

We also have a TTC-specific Discord channel (conversation thread) on our virtual community server. That channel is open to the public! Please feel free to invite folks and join the channel for discussing TTC and sharing resources.

UFAS Discord: TTC

Join current efforts

Paid Family Leave Campaign

Do you have experience with family leave at UW-Madison? Do you want to share what you'd like to see for paid family leave? Members have begun organizing around this important issue. We put a form together to gather stories about our collective struggle and want to hear from you!

Have a story to share? Tell us about it!

Want to help out (or just updates)?
Let us know!

University Labor Council organizing

ULC logo with badger and fists

The University Labor Council (ULC) is organizing workplace hubs where large numbers of people across sectors work. There are many overlapping concerns, including worker safety, accommodations, and TTC.

This is an inspiring space to coordinate efforts with members of TAA, AFSCME 171, AFSCME 2412, student workers, and unaffiliated workers. ULC typically meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm CT

To get involved, contact Jason at:

General Membership Meeting 2/21/2022

UFAS’s next GMM is scheduled for Monday February 21, 2022 from 5-6:15pm CT. As always, we’ll be giving updates on goings on at UFAS and being in community with each other. If you have any topics you would like to discuss at the meeting please email as soon as possible, so we can include it when we announce the agenda. Here’s the info to join the meeting:, Meeting ID: 840 1141 6487, Passcode: 635879

Meet a member: Dan Fitch (it/he)

A green stage light shines down on Dan playing a guitar during a live performance.

A green stage light shines down on Dan playing
a guitar during a live performance.

Why I joined UFAS

I joined UFAS during the pandemic when I saw the Moral Restart being put forward by the various unions, and just how much more sense it made than the awful "Smart Restart" response. I've been somewhat active in local politics and activism since starting work at the university in 2019, but I'm ramping up. I came from working a long time for a non-partisan at-will legislative agency which really limited what I was able to talk about in public. I worked for that agency all through Act 10 and on, so I got to see the attacks on workers... but I never participated back then. Now I've been getting involved on the UFAS equity and diversity committee, learning more about abolition, and trying to find the ways we can make positive change for better systems. I'm also helping with the #DerailTheJail movement to stop the county from spending millions on a new jail and instead invest in the community. We're all embedded in these racist, capitalist systems and we have gotta find ways to do better, y'all!

What I do at UW

I work as a programmer and sometimes-hardware person at the Center for Healthy Minds, on a team of research support folks who glue systems together and make the tools for the Center's research click. The Center's goal is to improve well-being and reduce suffering, but my daily level is more just trying to help build the infrastructure for smarter people than me to do good science, and keep it running. At a high level, we're currently trying to figure out what community engaged research looks like, exploring large-scale studies in the shifting landscape of the pandemic, and the ethical questions around machine learning and systemic bias in areas like affect recognition... while also trying to migrate all our wacky scientific pipelines and infrastructure to better methods.

In my free time

I play a lot of weird music: guitar, trumpet + mellophone, percussion, modified voice. Noise and rhythm are cathartic, my connection to the non-thinking lizard-brain flow state. I love science fiction and writing, so I'm always reading and writing stories. Cooking is a big hobby; our house pandemic project has been attempting to master pizza. Board games -- my partner and I designed a game during pandemic too. I've taken up writing some local journalism lately. Uhh, most of my friends would probably say I have too many hobbies. But I'm always having fun.

We are here for each other

Mutual Aid Funds Available

We know money can be tight this time of year (and many times of year) and wanted to make sure everyone knows about our no questions asked mutual aid fund. Each other’s wellbeing is our priority! We all do our best work and best existing as humans when we support one another.

To request mutual aid, you must be a current UFAS member. Members can request mutual aid funds once per month in any amount up to $300.

UFAS Mutual aid request form

Connect on Discord

We have a Discord server now! Come hang out with other labor-conscious faculty and academic staff to coordinate, commiserate, and keep tabs on what’s going on across campus, the community, and the state. Among other resources, we have a voice and video channel for socializing and an off-topic channel for pictures of your pets, planning meetups, and more.

Join us:
UFAS Discord

Meetings & Linktree

Find our ever-updating list of relevant links at Bookmark it!

Constitution Working Group Meetings: contact Emily Reynolds at

Equity & Diversity Committee Meetings: Every other Tuesday, 5-6 p.m. For Zoom details, email Current focus: exploring a divestment campaign from Badger State Industries.

General Membership Meeting: Monday February 21, 5-6:15pm. |, Meeting ID: 840 1141 6487, Passcode: 635879