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Stanford graduate workers vote to unionize

Stanford Lawn
Flickr / Creative Commons

Due to the increasing cost of living, Stanford graduate workers of all backgrounds hope to earn better wages through re-negotiating contracts and requesting stipends. Thirty-five percent of graduate student workers are international students, who are given limited forms of financial aid, often leaving them in debt.

Some graduate students are also parents, who struggle to pay for childcare or pre-school education.

The union will also help in the fight against preventing supervisor abuse. Students have often complained of bullying, discrimination, and sexual assault from their employers.

Although students can seek outlets such as the Title IX office, – officially known as the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Education Office – that process can take up to several months or longer.

Stanford Graduate students are now in the stages of negotiating their first contract with THE UNIVERSITY.

Union organizers say they hope to address some of the power imbalance by campaigning for a living wage, affordable housing and better benefits, like full dental and vision coverage and subsidized child care.

Stanford isn’t the first to form a graduate student union. There are similar graduate unions at UC Berkeley, Dartmouth, John Hopkins, and more.

Hamza is an Egyptian international student at UC Berkeley, and the News Director of Cal's radio station— KALX (90.7FM). Outside of work, you’ll find him reading up on Middle Eastern politics, or spending too much time watching soccer.