Temple University Grad Students End Strike After Getting a 30% Pay Raise
“new agreement increases the minimum graduate student pay to $27,000 per year for part-time work, a 30% increase over the four-year contract, on top of tuition remittance”
I predicted that the strikers would get what they wanted here. They went on strike shortly after grad students in California got what they were demanding.
Campus Reform reports:
‘We’re here to stay!’: Graduate student strike ends after 42 days, 30% pay raise
After 42 days of striking, the Temple University Graduate Student Association (TUGSA) and the Pennsylvania university’s administration reached a contract agreement on Monday.
Campus Reform previously covered the Temple administration’s decision to revoke tuition remittance and healthcare benefits for striking students three weeks into the protest after the strike began severely impacting university research and undergraduate coursework.
Ratified by a 344 to 8 union vote, the new agreement increases the minimum graduate student pay to $27,000 per year for part-time work, a 30% increase over the four-year contract, on top of tuition remittance. Additionally, 25% of dependent health insurance will also be provided by the school, according to Philadelphia’s PBS affiliate, WHYY.
The union initially wanted a salary increase to over $32,000, as reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
TUGSA took to Twitter to call the agreement “a historic achievement for our union” in spite of “unprecedented retaliation and intimidation, not to mention the cowardice and cruelty of [Temple’s administration].”
The university “retaliated in heinous ways & found out the hard way that union-busting won’t work when workers stand together. No employer should cut strikers’ healthcare. No university should use tuition to threaten workers. No one should threaten immigration status,” the tweet continues.
Temple President Jason Wingard announced the agreement by saying the new contract meets the goals of “acknowledging the union’s priorities and reflecting the university’s respect for our graduate students and their impactful work,” calling the contract “evidence of our collective willingness to unite and advance.”
Wingard also added that the strike process “demonstrated remarkable resilience.”
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25 years ago, in a “good economy,” we highly-trained technical professionals were grubbing for the limited number of “good raises” of 3%.
If this worked anything like the real world, their positions would be eliminated and they will have $0 income.
They probably are “make-work” jobs. You know, teaching q theory to math students and gender this-or-that to students who just want a real education.
There’s gotta be some in-org analog to Hoffer’s aphorism about movements becoming businesses, then rackets.
“Once a function or role gets recognized as a thing, it gets infested with people grubbing for the recognition, not doing the work.”
There’s hypothetical value in the Platonic ideal of “Grad Student”, also “Teaching Assistant”, and even “Professor.” The role, once identified, draws in its own rewards, which become the point. Eventually, a patronage arrangement emerges: people installed in the fake role, for personal payoff for themselves with a cut to whoever put them there.
You can see this in the spate of “tech” layoffs in the 10,000s in recent months. Scrubbed-faced placeholders, useless in getting stuff done, but good to have around to inflate their superiors, and noisy to get rid of. Under pressure, the grift-towers clear out enough extraction to stay in place for whoever’s left. The game is to win the life boat drill.
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