Monday, May 22, 2006

News Roundup from the AFT

According to On Campus, the bi-monthly magazine from the American Federation of Teachers' higher education divisions, graduate assistants at Temple University have been rallying for a new contract. The biggest bargaining point is health care--coverage for a worker and one dependant can cost a third of a worker's annual salary. The article also reports that Temple GAs filed a successful greivance against the university for its refusal to pay health care costs for summer workers.

Graduate employees at the University of Illinois-Springfield have also voted to unionize (with only one vote cast against unionizing). The keystone of that fight is that Springfield GAs, who tend to be older and are more likely to have children, make $4,000 a year less than their collegues at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.

Another article highlights the difficulties graduate employees face in giving birth and finding childcare without paid parental leave, clock extensions, and subsidies for child care expenses.

The magazine also reports on stories previously covered by Nerds: the GET-UP report on the casualization of the academic workforce; the successful unionization vote at Western Michigan University; and the unionization campaign at Vermont College.

And on the NYU front: a breif note in the technology section highlights the presence of the GSOC campaign on Wikipedia--it quotes the page on Sexton, reporting that it has experiences more than 100 revisions since our strike began. (Nerds would point out the readers that since GSOC is not affiliated with the AFT, they must indeed beleive that the technological battlefront of our campaign is newsworthy--cool!)

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