World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 19 Mar, 2021 05:30 am

Illinois State University grad student workers to take strike vote

Illinois State University grad student workers to take strike vote
Graduate student workers at Illinois State University are set to vote April 2 on whether to authorize a strike after contract negotiations have stalled for nearly a year and a half.

Graduate student workers at Illinois State University (ISU) in Normal, Illinois will vote April 2 on whether to authorize strike action against the university administration, which has dragged out negotiations over a labor agreement for a year and a half.The student workers are organized in the Graduate Workers Union (GWU), which is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73.The conditions for ISU graduate student workers are among the worst in the region.Along with increases in wages, graduate student workers are demanding full access to health care, including vision and dental, and greater protections for international students who are often charged with more fees than other students.

Currently 3,000 graduate student workers are engaged in an indefinite strike at Columbia University in New York City, where student workers are demanding higher wages, affordable housing, better health care coverage and improved working conditions.Grad student workers must look to the working class to support their struggles, not to the trade union bureaucracy and the Democratic Party, which are forcing educators back into unsafe schools and preparing savage austerity measures to pay for the growing government debt.

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