In one of the largest public employee organizing drives California has seen in over a decade, some 17,000 graduate student researchers at the University of California may soon become union members. Student Researchers United, a committee of graduate student researchers, filed a petition for union certification with the California Public Employment Relations Board May 24. Organizers say they are seeking better wages and healthcare benefits, written protections against harassment and discrimination and a formal grievance procedure. They’re also calling for more legal and political support for international student workers, and an end to irregular or late pay.
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University students across the UK are demanding immediate divestment from companies complicit in Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism as a part of Apartheid Off Campus’s national day of action.
Students at Ohio State staged a sit-in protest and demanded that the university cut ties with Columbus Police in the wake of the killing of Ma’Khia Bryant. The protest took place one day after a police officer shot and killed the 16-year-old girl in the city, just as the verdict in the George Floyd trial was reached. Students staged their Wednesday protest in the Ohio Union before taking to the streets to march. Some carried signs with the victim’s name, along with phrases like “say her name”, while another student had a sign that said, “Being Black shouldn’t be a death sentence.” “Ohio State supports the right of our students, faculty and staff to peacefully express their views and to speak out about issues that are important to them,” the university said in a statement.
Trenton, NJ - Ebele Azikiwe was in the sixth grade last year when February came and it was time to learn about Black history again. She was, by then, familiar with the curriculum: Rosa Parks, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a discussion on slavery. Just like the year before, she said, and the year before that. Then came George Floyd’s death in May, and she wrote to the administration at her school in Cherry Hill, in New Jersey’s Philadelphia suburbs, to ask for more than the same lessons. “We learned about slavery, but did we go into the roots of slavery?” Ebele, 12, said in an interview. “You learned about how they had to sail across, but did you learn about how they felt being tied down on those boats?”
Washington, DC - President Joe Biden has asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to prepare a memo about his legal authority to cancel student debt, chief of staff Ron Klain said Thursday, as pressure grows for the administration to address the student loan crisis crippling millions of Americans. Klain said in an interview with Politico that Biden will decide how to proceed once he reviews the memo, which could be sent to his desk in the next few weeks. "He'll look at that legal authority, he'll look at the policy issues around that, and then he'll make a decision," Klain said. "He hasn't made a decision on that either way. In fact, he hasn't yet gotten the memos that he needs to start to focus on that decision."