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In light of an unprecedented wave of labor organizing among graduate students, you might think the American college campus is being radicalized by an insurgency of revolutionary grad assistants. Actually, it’s more like graduate students are finding it harder and harder to survive on meager stipends under exploitative working conditions, and are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the commercialization of higher education in general. In response, many are finding creative ways to organize for fair pay and working conditions and more rights on a job that, until recently, many didn’t even consider a real job.
This week, we bring you a live recording of Dissent’s recent forum on graduate student organizing, with Ella Wind of NYU, Kelly Goodman of Yale, Andrea Crow and Lindsey Dayton of Columbia, Cristina Groeger of Harvard, and Eli Nadeau of the New School for Social Research. They discuss the prospects for building an academic labor movement and, more specifically, the campaign to reverse a longstanding National Labor Relations Board precedent that bars graduate students from unionizing. In other news, we look at minimum wage hikes from coast to coast, growing inequality around the world, and adjunct labor in the classroom.
Michelle: LA’s Minimum Wage Workers Just Won $15 an Hour—How Many Will Actually Be Paid That? (The Nation)
Report: Global inequality continues to rise (Al Jazeera America)
Michelle: Could Yale Graduate Students Be the Next to Unionize? (The Nation)
Hearings begin in New School grad-union recognition case (Capital New York)
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Laura McKenna, The Cost of an Adjunct (The Atlantic)