Graduate Workers at Indiana University Consider Strike Over Wages

Staff report

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — March 23, 2024

The Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition (IGWC) convened a town hall meeting at the Monroe County Public Library on Friday to share information on an imminent strike and advocate for higher wages for graduate workers at Indiana University.

Despite Indiana University raising worker stipends to $22,000 per year, the university has yet to acknowledge the union, stirring discontent among graduate workers. Indiana, being a right-to-work state, adds complexity to the workers’ pursuit of union recognition.

The IGWC voiced their stance, stating, “Our membership is currently considering strike action as a means to win a living wage and union recognition.”

During the meeting, several guest speakers, including Chris Wilson from the University of Chicago and Jake Cohen from Northwest University, shared their experiences. Wilson recounted how University of Chicago graduate workers saw their wages rise from $27,000 to $45,000 per year after a successful strike, while Cohen highlighted minimal wage increases at Northwest University until a strike prompted significant improvements.

Indiana University graduate workers expressed concerns about the $22,000 stipend, deeming it insufficient to cover living expenses in Bloomington. As a result, they plan to vote next week on a three-day strike, slated to commence on IU Day, April 17th, 2024, coinciding with Little 500 week.

The proposed strike aims to demonstrate the seriousness of workers’ demands and initiate dialogue regarding wage increases. Speakers at the town hall emphasized that if the administration overlooks their concerns, further strikes may be inevitable.

“I want a raise so I can shop in the ‘nice cheese’ section at Kroger,” remarked one worker, reflecting the broader sentiment among graduate workers striving for improved living standards.

The outcome of the forthcoming vote will determine the course of action for Indiana University’s graduate workers as they navigate negotiations for fair wages and union recognition.

This story will be updated as developments occur.

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