“Graduate Students of the World, Unite!”

“Graduate Students of the World, Unite!”

The 12,000 instructors represented by Local 2865 are a crucial part of America’s academic workforce. They’re responsible for up to hundreds of students at a time, and I haven’t talked to a single person who believes the 20-hour weekly cap on student instructor work is anything but a cruel joke. They do this work for about $1,700 a month, an amount, the U.C. Academic Council found, that not only was uncompetitively low but even necessitated the creation of an on-campus food bank at U.C. Santa Barbara. Local 2865’s demands are reasonable. Its members want dignity, respect and enough money to care for themselves. But ever-rational U.C. administrators are measuring the demands against what it will cost in police brutality settlements to make sure management wins. That’s their standard operating procedure, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. If student workers and their supporters can remain resilient and triumph, they’ll provide a model for teaching assistants around the country; if Napolitano and the complicit faculty succeed in beating them into submission, then there’s nothing left to save.”



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