This movement has done such a lovely job with the fast food industry. What could go wrong?

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Grad Students’ ‘Fight for $15’

Amazon announced this month that it would begin paying its workers at least $15 per hour, making it the latest employer to cede to labor activists who have been pushing for that new minimum wage nationally for several years.

Graduate assistants want $15 per hour, too, and are waging their own campus campaigns for it.

“Fifteen dollars an hour represents a living wage in much of the U.S.,” said Casey Williams, a Ph.D. candidate in literature at Duke University. “Grad workers, like all workers, deserve to earn enough to live decently in exchange for the research and teaching labor they provide universities, many of which depend on the work of grad students and adjunct professors to function, maintain prestige, secure key grants and attract tuition-paying undergraduates.”

Graduate students pushing for $15 per hour generally maintain that they are full-time, full-year employees, even if universities view them as part-time employees or as students learning to teach and do research. Fifteen dollars per hour times 40 hours per week, times 52 weeks per year, is $31,200. So $31,000 — which is on the high end of graduate student stipends nationally — has emerged as a new target minimum annual stipend.


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