This was always the goal of introducing unions into higher education.
Harvard Grad Students Are Set To Strike Tuesday. Here’s Why
Harvard University and more than 4,000 graduate student workers failed to reach agreement on a labor contract during negotiations Monday, setting the stage for an indefinite strike to begin Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
The strike could complicate the completion of academic work done at the semester’s end, from grant applications to pre-exam reviews, final grading and more.
“Research assistants won’t do their research,” said Rachel Sandalow-Ash, a member of the bargaining committee for the Harvard Graduate Student Union (HGSU). “On the teaching side, student-workers will not hold review sessions and will not grade exams.”
In a statement, university spokesman Jonathan Swain called the strike “unwarranted,” saying it “will neither clarify our respective positions nor will it resolve areas of disagreement.”
HGSU members plan to picket outside academic buildings, asking other members of academic staff — including tenured and adjunct faculty — not to take on work formally assigned to graduate students.
After years of organizing, HGSU formed in April of 2018. The union covers the work of graduate students — and a smaller cohort of undergraduates — who together perform thousands of hours of research, teaching and administrative duties at Harvard each week.
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