- I’m beginning to think that student workers (especially work study, whether it is undergraduate or graduate student workers) need to unionize. Most colleges pay these students minimun wage only. Of course the argument is that students can work elsewhere, but for international students on a student visa this isn’t possible due to visa restrictions. To me this smacks of protectionism, by only allowing international students to work on campus then it createsa situation where there is no competition among employers (hence the minimun wage pay)
- Massachusets Jobs with Justice
. . . Finally, the University Organizing Project (UOP)-a network of campus unions, student groups, grad organizers, COCAL, and community-labor groups like JWJ-is holding a conference at UMass-Boston on February 24th called “Campus Inc: University Organizing in the Global Economy.” This regional conference aims to unify campus labor organizing efforts around demanding that campus administrations sign the Charter of University Workers Rights drafted by UOP last year.
The Charter treats all workers on campus, from work-study students to kitchen staff to professors, as equals. It calls on campus administrations to agree to key labor rights across the board-like campus-wide living wages, benefits, and the right of all workers to unionize. The conference will begin with a Workers Rights Board hearing, where campus workers from each sector will testify about problems with their labor conditions to a board of well-known local professors. The rest of the day will be aimed at bringing the efforts of different campus labor organizing together into a strong unified force for worker justice.
A particular emphasis will be placed on the role of undergraduate students as workers on the modern campus with the increasing corporatization of higher education. Conference participants will explore campus administrations’ reliance on cheap staff while forcing students in need of financial aid to work their way through school-rather than simply being paid to study, as they are in every other industrialized nation. UOP organizers hope to see the first undergraduate student labor organizing campaigns in the near future.
Here is one link I’ve found thus far on the subject. More are coming…