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Graduate Student Walkout

SBDadSBDad Posts: 847Registered User Member
Has anyone heard about an impending gradaute student walkout? My son says GSI's are threatening a work stopage. Any idea what the issues are?
Post edited by SBDad on
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Replies to: Graduate Student Walkout

  • hoedownhoedown Posts: 3,751Registered User Senior Member
    Hmm. A threat of work stoppage and a down-to-the-wire negotiation comes up every time they renegotiate, although the trigger issue differs each team. The GEO has a generally antagonistic stance against the U, so it is ever thus.

    This time I believe the stickler issue it's the base pay and whether than covers the total budget for a year (including room/board/etc) estimated by the financial aid office. I don't know if that's for students with a .25 appointment or the typical GSi appointment of .4, however.
  • supermurgatroydsupermurgatroyd Posts: 102Registered User Junior Member
    The story I've heard is that grad students in the humanities are taking too long to write their dissertations and are running out of funds. Science and engineering GSIs don't seem to be participating.
  • hoedownhoedown Posts: 3,751Registered User Senior Member
    I don't know--I haven't heard that, but it doesn't mean it's not a big issue.

    GEO is a closed shop. If you're a graduate student employee, you are represented by the GEO, like it or not. It's certainly true that they tend to advocate for graduate students who work as GSIs, which means that grad students with research positions (instead of instructional positions) have issues which may not be the issues that GEO pushes to the fore. I don't know if time-to-degree plays a big role in what they're arguing about this year, though.

    It's possible that STEM GSI's will cross the picket lines if it comes to a work stoppage. When I was represented by the GEO, I would have.
  • SBDadSBDad Posts: 847Registered User Member
    Acronym help - STEM?
  • supermurgatroydsupermurgatroyd Posts: 102Registered User Junior Member
    Ok, evidently the GEO threatens to strike every year over something or other; what I said I heard earlier is probably not the main issue. My LSA GSI told our class that it was canceled on Wednesday, so as far as I can tell, the strike is happening. However, my engineering GSIs are not participating, and I don't even know if the GEO is picketing North Campus. One of them even "conveniently" forgot to pay his dues this semester... whoops.
  • dilksydilksy Posts: 1,903- Senior Member
    The GEO threatens to strike every three years, when contract negotiations come up. The issue is that the current average stipend is below the cost of living. Both sides agree that the average stipends need to be raised to match the cost of living, but the two sides differ in what they believe the cost of living is. The University has offered to increase the average stipend by 3% (to match up with the rate of inflation), and the GEO is demanding a 9% increase (most likely to cover inflation and increased housing costs).

    AFAIK, this is more of an issue amongst the humanities/soft science graduate students, who can't readily get summer research jobs to supplement their stipend. I know the people in the math department don't particularly care (except for this one girl who looks like a guy that I saw wearing a t-shirt highlighting all the achievements of Graduate Student unions over the past decades...she might care), but are going through with the strike anyways.
  • CvjnCvjn Posts: 1,355Registered User Senior Member
    My Bio GSI's are striking but I don't think any Chem GSI's care
  • hoedownhoedown Posts: 3,751Registered User Senior Member
    STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
  • blackpen2008blackpen2008 Posts: 1,359Registered User Senior Member
    just saw on channel 4 that they walked out
  • CCRunner123CCRunner123 Posts: 1,280Registered User Senior Member
    My classes are cancelled. ****in sweet.
  • blackpen2008blackpen2008 Posts: 1,359Registered User Senior Member
    seriously?
    that's awsome
  • CCRunner123CCRunner123 Posts: 1,280Registered User Senior Member
    no doubt. i dont know what im gonna do with myself today. study, probably haha.
  • tetrahedr0ntetrahedr0n Posts: 1,954Registered User Senior Member
    and I don't even know if the GEO is picketing North Campus.

    They are. They were picketing in front of the architecture building today.
  • Rem4lyfe08Rem4lyfe08 Posts: 171Registered User Junior Member
    my sis is a junior there and she said the GSI's are being paid less than what it cost to live in Ann Arbor. She has has 2 of her classes inside Borders because of it. She also does not plan on going to some of her classes tomorrow because she does not want to cross the picket line. The university really needs to pay them more.
  • hoedownhoedown Posts: 3,751Registered User Senior Member
    They settled late last night.

    The reality is, a lot of students working on campus make less than the cost of living. Particularly those who have jobs that are a .25 appointment or a .10 appointment. GSIs have a .40 appointment, usually. And get tuition and health care.
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