James A. Dombrowski Papers, 1918-1983

Container Title
Mss 548
Part 1 (Mss 548, Audio 882A/1-16, CC 654, VHA 240): Original Collection, 1966-1976
Physical Description: 2.6 cubic feet (7 archives boxes), 16 tape recordings, 1 film (16 mm), and 1 videorecording (VHS) 
Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the origin and early history of the Teaching Assistants Association. It provides significant, though not extensive, information on the student movement at Wisconsin during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and offers some insight into the reasons college teachers organize and the manner in which their unions and professional associations have evolved.

The records span the years 1966-1976, but concentrate on the period 1968-1972. Particularly well covered are the Association's transformation from a graduate student organization into a labor union and its formative 1970 strike. There is also extensive information on the collective bargaining process and on the formation of policy within the union.

The collection consists of historical sketches, a constitution and by-laws, minutes, general correspondence, printed material, committee records, files of several departmental affiliates, university-wide and departmental bargaining records, and a subject file. Notably absent are financial records and membership rosters.

The MINUTES provide the most comprehensive record of the Association's activities, document basic policies and practices, and reveal the ideological aims and economic concerns of the union and its members.

The chronologically-arranged GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, 1966-1971, is incomplete and often routine. It contains letters between TAA leaders and University administrators, faculty members, University regents, and state legislators. However, there is no correspondence with individual members or with other labor organizations. Of particular interest is a letter from Paul Booth describing the current state of faculty unionization and assessing the relative merits of the national teachers' unions.

The newsletters filed in the PRINTED MATERIAL series are virtually complete through 1972, but are increasingly fragmented thereafter. They include meeting agenda and summaries which supplement the minutes, and provide details unavailable elsewhere on the Association's participation in the student, antiwar, and labor movements.

The COMMITTEE RECORDS series contains material from only a few of the many TAA standing and temporary committees. While the Education Committee records, 1969-1974, provide significant documentation of the organization's early attempts at educational reform, the fragmentary Grievance Committee records, 1970-1971, provide only a limited view of employment conditions and alleged contract violations. The Publicity Committee records, 1967-1975, contain notes for speeches and skits, drafts of leaflets and statements, an important report on the public relations function of the union, and a large number of TAA and University of Wisconsin press releases. (Bargaining Committee records are filed as “Working Papers” in the University-Wide Bargaining Series.)

DEPARTMENTAL AFFILIATES are TAA subgroups formed around academic departments. They were created to give members an opportunity to raise and discuss departmental issues with other TAs in similar circumstances. Preserved here are the 1971-1972 records of twelve affiliates. They include correspondence, minutes, job descriptions, work rules, and miscellaneous near-print material.

Records pertaining to contract negotiations comprise one-third of the collection and are divided into two series: UNIVERSITY-WIDE BARGAINING, 1969-1976, and DEPARTMENTAL BARGAINING, 1969-1970. This division reflects the two-level bargaining structure established in a 1969 agreement between the Association and the University. Material in the first series includes contracts, TAA and University of Wisconsin bargaining proposals, working papers of the Bargaining Committee, and detailed notes compiled by the chief TAA negotiator. These notes contain substantial information on the union's negotiating strategy and often include verbatim minutes of bargaining sessions. While much of the material in this series is related to economic and work-performance issues, there is also significant information on the union's disputatious educational planning proposal.

The departmental bargaining records document negotiations between departmental affiliates and those academic departments in which the TAA won a majority in the 1969 bargaining agent election. The records are arranged alphabetically by department and generally include proposals, bargaining notes, faculty memoranda, and preliminary and final contracts.

Researchers interested in the collective bargaining process should also examine the “Salary Research” and “Strategy and Tactics“Strategy and Tactics” folders in the Subject File.

The alphabetically-arranged SUBJECT FILE, 1968-1976, includes newspaper clippings, several influential faculty reports on the TA system; a small amount of material on the state and national teachers' federations; and considerable information on organizing campaigns, picketing procedures, salary levels and employment conditions. Particularly significant are the “Strategy and Tactics” and “Working Papers” folders which contain valuable critiques of the history, function, and direction of the union.

Box   1
Folder   1
Series: Historical Sketches, undated
Box   1
Folder   2
Series: Constitution and By-laws, undated
Series: Minutes
Box   1
Folder   3-5
Membership meetings, 1966-1971, 1973-1974
Box   1
Folder   6
Executive Board meetings, 1966-(1968-1970)-1976
Box   1
Folder   7
Stewards' Council meetings, 1969-1971, 1974-1976
Box   1
Folder   8
Series: General Correspondence, 1966-1971
Series: Printed Material
Newsletters
Box   1
Folder   9-16
1968 Spring-1974 Spring, 1975 Fall
Note: Transferred. These are now available in the SHSW Library on microfilm. [See catalog record.]
Box   1
Folder   16
1975 Fall
Box   1
Folder   17
1976 Fall
Box   1
Folder   18
Leaflets, 1969-1976, undated
Box   1
Folder   19
Leaflets regarding 1970 Strike
Box   2
Folder   1
Pamphlets, 1968-1970, undated
Series: Committee Records
Box   2
Folder   2
Education Committee, 1969-1974, undated
Grievance Committee
Box   2
Folder   3
General, 1970, undated
Grievances
Box   2
Folder   4
Curriculum and Instruction, 1970-1971
Box   2
Folder   5
English, 1970
Box   2
Folder   6
Integrated Liberal Studies, 1970
Box   2
Folder   7
Mathematics, 1970-1971
Box   2
Folder   8
Music, 1970
Box   2
Folder   9
Speech, undated
Box   2
Folder   10
Student Health, 1970
Box   2
Folder   11
Slavney Dispute, 1970-1971
Publicity Committee
Box   2
Folder   12
General, 1967-1974, undated
Box   2
Folder   13
Press Releases, 1967-1975
Box   2
Folder   14
University of Wisconsin Press Releases, 1967-1972
Series: Departmental Affiliates
Box   2
Folder   15
Art, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   16
Communication Arts, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   17
Economics, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   18
Educational Policy Studies, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   19
English, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   20
German, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   21
History, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   22
Mathematics, 1971-1972
Box   2
Folder   23
Music, 1971
Box   2
Folder   24
Psychology, 1971
Box   2
Folder   25
Sociology, 1971
Box   2
Folder   26
Urban and Regional Planning, 1971-1973
Series: University-Wide Bargaining
Box   3
Folder   1
Structure Agreement, 1969
First Contract
Box   3
Folder   2
Contract, 1970
Box   3
Folder   3-4
TAA proposals, 1969-1970
Box   3
Folder   5-6
University of Wisconsin proposals, 1969-1970
Box   3
Folder   7-9
David Burress' bargaining notes, 1969-1970
Box   3
Folder   10
Wage negotiations, 1969-1970
Box   3
Folder   11
Working papers, 1969-1970
882A/1-14
TAA strike of 1970
VHA 240
Film about the TAA strike, 1970
Note: Video transfer in 1987 from CC 654 (archival print).
Second Contract
Mss 548
Box   4
Folder   1
Contract, 1972
Box   4
Folder   2
TAA proposals, 1971
Box   4
Folder   3
University of Wisconsin proposals, 1972
Box   4
Folder   4
Henry Haslach's bargaining notes, 1971-1972
Box   4
Folder   5
Working papers, 1971-1972
Third Contract
Box   4
Folder   6
TAA proposals, 1973-1974
Box   4
Folder   7
University of Wisconsin proposals, 1973-1974
Box   4
Folder   8
Ron Walker's bargaining notes, 1973-1974
Box   4
Folder   9
Working papers, 1973-1974
882A/15
TAA/University of Wisconsin bargaining session, 1974 January 26
882A/16
TAA/University of Wisconsin bargaining session, 1974 March 19
Fourth Contract
Mss 548
Box   4
Folder   10
Contract, 1976
Box   4
Folder   11
Mark Fuerst's bargaining notes, 1975
Series: Departmental Bargaining
Box   4
Folder   12
General, 1969-1970
Box   4
Folder   13
Anthropology, 1969-1970
Box   4
Folder   14
Art, 1970
Box   4
Folder   15
Chemistry, 1969-1970
Box   4
Folder   16
Civil Engineering, 1969
Box   4
Folder   17
Classics, 1969-1970
Box   4
Folder   18
Communication Arts, 1970
Box   4
Folder   19
Comparative Literature, 1970
Box   4
Folder   20
Counseling and Guidance, 1969
Box   4
Folder   21
Curriculum and Instruction, 1969
Box   4
Folder   22
Economics, 1969-1970
Box   4
Folder   23
Educational Administration, 1969-1970
Box   4
Folder   24
Educational Policy Studies, 1970
Box   4
Folder   25
Educational Psychology, 1969
Box   4
Folder   26
Electrical Engineering, 1969
Box   4
Folder   27
Engineering Mechanics, 1970
Box   4
Folder   28
English, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   1
French and Italian, 1970
Box   5
Folder   2
Geography, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   3
German, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   4
History, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   5
Integrated Liberal Studies, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   6
Mathematics, 1970
Box   5
Folder   7
Meteorology, 1970
Box   5
Folder   8
Music, 1970
Box   5
Folder   9
Physics, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   10
Political Science, 1970
Box   5
Folder   11
Social Work, 1969
Box   5
Folder   12
Spanish and Portuguese, 1970
Box   5
Folder   13
Speech, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   14
Zoology, 1969-1970
Series: Subject File
American Federation of Teachers
Box   5
Folder   15
Constitution, 1973
Box   5
Folder   16
Convention materials, 1974
Box   5
Folder   17
Correspondence, 1975, undated
Box   5
Folder   18
Appointment and Dismissal of TAs, 1968
Box   5
Folder   19
Association of Student Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants - University of Minnesota, 1968, undated
Box   5
Folder   20
Authorization and Membership Cards, undated
Box   5
Folder   21
Bargaining Agent Election Results, 1969
Box   5
Folder   22
Black Student Strike, 1969
Box   5
Folder   23
Center for Educational Reform, 1970
Box   5
Folder   24
Contact lists, undated
Box   5
Folder   25
Course Enrollment reports, 1971
Box   5
Folder   26
Handbook for TAs, undated
Box   5
Folder   27
History Department Workload questionnaire, 1969-1970
Box   5
Folder   28
Letters and Science Faculty Survey on TAs, undated
Box   5
Folder   29
Limited term TAs, 1975
Box   6
Folder   1
Membership lists, 1969
Box   6
Folder   2
Murtha Report on Minimum Standards for TA Work Surroundings, 1969
Newspaper clippings
Box   6
Folder   3-7
1967 Fall-1972 Summer
Box   6
Folder   8
1973 Fall-1974 Summer
Box   6
Folder   9
Picket assignments, 1970
Box   6
Folder   10
Picket Captain's manual, 1970
Box   6
Folder   11
Project Assistant (PA) organizing, undated
Box   6
Folder   12
Research Assistant (RA) organizing, 1971, undated
Box   6
Folder   13
Research Assistant questionnaire, 1971
Box   6
Folder   14
Research on University of Wisconsin Budget, 1968-1970
Salary Research
Box   6
Folder   15
Rate charts, 1968-1969
Box   6
Folder   16
Workload charts, 1968-1969
Box   6
Folder   17
Work logs, 1976
Box   6
Folder   18
Science for the People, 1971, undated
Box   6
Folder   19
Specialist Organizing Committee, 1969-1971, undated
Box   6
Folder   20
Steward's notebook, undated
Box   6
Folder   21
Strategy and tactics, 1971-1976, undated
Box   6
Folder   22
TA-Coordinator Program, 1968
Box   7
Folder   1
Teamsters for Democracy, 1972-1973, undated
Box   7
Folder   2
University Committee on TAs, 1967
Box   7
Folder   3
University of Wisconsin Faculty documents, 1968, 1971
Box   7
Folder   4
Wisconsin Education Association, 1973, undated
Wisconsin Federation of Teachers
Box   7
Folder   5
Convention, 1974
Box   7
Folder   6
Leadership Conference, 1974
Box   7
Folder   7
Working papers, circa 1969