2017 Tax Bill Action


The tax cut bill proposed by Congressional Republicans will have devastating effects on working people all across the country, including graduate employees and their families. The proposal eliminates the tax exempt status of tuition wavers, which would more than double the taxable income of most graduate students. The existing policy has done well to enhance accessibility, inclusiveness, and excellence in teaching and research at our institutions of higher education, thus cutting against the idea of a just and inclusive university that we fight for as a union. Check back on this page for updates on the status of the tax bill and the proposed provision to eliminate the tuition waiver exemption.

Letter to Congressman Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney represents Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes UCONN and eastern half of CT. He wants to hear our stories about how taxing our tuition waiver as income would hurt our ability to attend graduate school. Below is the link to a statement sent by the GEU Executive Board to his office. Feel free to email Congressman Courtney’s assistant Alexa Combelic at alexa.combelic@mail.house.gov. Click on the box below to access the full text of the letter.

Letter to Congressman Courtney
GEU Statement at the Connecticut Congressional Delegations’ November 10th Press Conference in Hartford

Democracy only works when we hold our representatives accountable and informed of our positions. Take a few moments to contact your congressional representatives right now and tell them to vote against this proposed tax bill.

Find your representatives below and then call them, email them, tweet at them:




A strong sample message:

Hi Representative/Senator ___

My name is ___ and I am a graduate student and (RA, TA, etc) at the University of Connecticut. I am calling to urge you to vote against the proposed tax bill since it will have dangerous effects on working people across the US. In particular, as a graduate student employee, the elimination of the exemption for tuition waivers in section 117(d) of the tax code would more than double my taxable income. This exemption has existed for many years so that people like myself can afford to attend graduate school by providing critical research and teaching work in exchange for a modest stipend and a non-taxable tuition waiver. The results of this change would be devastating to those who cannot otherwise afford graduate school and would inhibit our universities from recruiting the best and brightest regardless of background or economic means.

For more background on how this would affect institutions of higher education:

National Association of Graduate-Professional Studies’Call Congress Day Action and Tool Kit

UAW Region 9A Statement on the Republican proposal to eliminate the tuition waiver tax exemption