Grad Students Join Unions For Protection, Better Conditions

Long hours in the lab and lack of recognition lead some to affiliate with labor unions as a way to better their lot Graduate students tend to bear a heavy burden--teaching undergrad classes and leading lab sessions as well as doing their own research in the pursuit of an advanced degree. They're inclined to keep long hours, and they receive little if any pay for their efforts. That situation has existed for decades, the result of a view that they are, first and foremost, students. Given that

Jan Ziegler
Feb 17, 1991
Long hours in the lab and lack of recognition lead some to affiliate with labor unions as a way to better their lot
Graduate students tend to bear a heavy burden--teaching undergrad classes and leading lab sessions as well as doing their own research in the pursuit of an advanced degree. They're inclined to keep long hours, and they receive little if any pay for their efforts.

That situation has existed for decades, the result of a view that they are, first and foremost, students. Given that status, they've had little choice over the years but to keep silent and wait until they could enter the "real world" upon graduation.

In increasing numbers, however, graduate students are demanding that their contributions to academe be recognized as true labor, and that they be accorded the same benefits that go to anyone earning a paycheck. Toward that end, thousands of them have...

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