University of Pennsylvania

History: WPPSA had its begining as the A-3 Assembly

History of the A-3 Assembly

A basic understanding of the history of the A-3 Assembly is necessary to understand its current incarnation. Initially the organization was created to focus on basic employee benefits issues. The first meeting was September 21, 1971. The A-3 Assembly was to be "A representative, University-wide structure encompassing all A-3 personnel who freely comprise its membership for mutual benefits of administration and employees". A volunteer coordinating committee organized the meeting and four interest groups arose from the meeting: Communications, Structure & Bylaws, Benefits and promotion & Promotion Procedures. Throughout the 1970ís and 1980ís the A-3 Assembly gathered strength and began to deal with more issues. However, as can be discerned from the current working environment, the turnover rate of support personnel was rather high and eventually created an impact upon the organization. With a lack of resources for leadership, the Assembly became dependent upon a core group of charismatic individuals. When these employees were upgraded or moved on to positions outside the University, the resulting power vacuum annihilated the A-3 Assembly.

Reorganization of Assembly

This brings us to the reorganization of the Assembly. An interest among staff in the Presidentís Office resulted in an exploratory probe of attitudes and opinions among University support staff. After hearing about pertinent issues and gauging the overall morale, it was decided that the A-3 Community was definitely in need of a vehicle of empowerment. Through an October 1992 organizational meeting of interested individuals, including some former A-3 Assembly members, the core of the effort was pulled together. Then through an election advertised to the entire A-3 Community in the spring of 1993, a re-organized board was created that continues to this day.

Assembly Name Change

During the October 2002 General Assembly Meeting it was proposed that the A-3 Assembly's name be changed in order to make it more readily identifiable to its constituency. In addition, the name should better describe who the eligible members are. The name chosen was the Weekly-paid Professional Staff Assembly (WPPSA). The name change was presented to the University Steering Committee and voted on and approved by the University Council during the December 2002 meeting.