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Fordham Graduate Students Vote 94% For A Union

New York, New York - Graduate student workers at Fordham University in the Bronx have voted overwhelmingly to join the Fordham Graduate Student Workers union. “We did it!” one called out from a balcony in the student center’s atrium after the results were announced April 7, as a few dozen supporters gathered below. The vote was 229-15. The bargaining unit, part of Communications Workers of America Local 1104, will include about 360 graduate student workers at both the University’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx and its Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan. “It’s a very clear message: We want a union. We got it,” Nick McIntosh, a third-year Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, told LaborPress.

Student Loans Are A Burden For Black Educators

On April 5, the White House announced it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan payments through August 31. (It had been set to expire on May 2.) The development followed escalating calls for debt cancellation from teachers, students and advocates, including an April 4 protest put on by the Debt Collective, the first union of debtors. The Biden administration’s decision to extend relief was welcomed by advocates but fell short of meeting the demand for permanent loan forgiveness. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), for example, passed a resolution in March calling on President Biden to use his executive power to cancel student debt and “increase spending in our local community.”

MIT Graduate Students Vote To Form Union

Graduate students at MIT have voted to form a union by a 2-to-1 margin. Organizers said the result was a response to the growing challenges facing students — who teach, conduct research and provide academic support on the Cambridge campus — and in keeping with the institute’s experimental spirit. Fifth-year doctoral student Lilly Chin leapt back into organizing to help with the get-out-the-vote campaign in the computer science department, one of MIT’s largest. “My phone was buzzing for five minutes straight: ‘Make sure so-and-so can get to the polls,’ ” Chin said. The count Wednesday happened quickly, but it was still “a little nerve-racking,” said Ki-Jana Carter, an organizer and fifth-year doctoral student in material science and engineering.

DC Protest Calls On Biden To Cancel Student Debt

Washington, D.C. - Hundreds of people converged in Washington, D.C. on Monday for a national day of action to demand that the Biden administration cancel all outstanding federal student loan debt via executive order. "All it takes is a signature," said the Debt Collective, a debtors' union that organized the "Pick Up the Pen, Joe" demonstration, which was supported by a coalition that includes dozens of progressive advocacy groups and labor unions. Following speeches and performances in front of the Eisenhower Memorial, the crowd marched outside the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Monday's rally and march in the nation's capital had a simple message for President Joe Biden: Use your executive authority to wipe out the roughly $1.6 trillion in federal student debt that is holding back more than 45 million federal borrowers in the United States.

Higher Ed Labor Unites For Equity For All: Faculty, Staff And Students

Students swell the picket lines of dining service workers. Staff fight for cancellation of exorbitant graduate student workers’ fees. Undergraduate student workers learn about the precarity and low pay behind the title “adjunct” and demand their university administrations do better. Tenured faculty insist that part-time instructors receive benefits.  Across higher education, workers are realizing that they depend on each other to get work done, from faculty, academic staff, graduate and undergraduate student workers, to janitors and clerical and technical workers—and the landscape of organizing is changing. Higher education labor unions have generally been stratified, but now universities with multiple unions representing various types of employees are seeing increased cooperation and collaboration.
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