Graduate students make quiet gains during pandemic

Quietly, and overshadowed by everything else that has been happening, graduate students in America in the last few months have won surprising victories that are the culmination of decades of effort against exploitative labour practices. They and others chalk this up, at least in part, to universities’ need for their labour in what promises to be a tumultuous fall, writes Jon Marcus for The Hechinger Report.

Four private universities – American, Brown, Georgetown and Harvard – have reached contract deals with their graduate workers since the end of January. That doubles the number of private institutions at which graduate unions now have contracts. (The others are Brandeis, Tufts, the New School and New York University.)

Meanwhile, graduate students at more than 75 universities in the United States and Canada have for the first time organised themselves into a loose alliance demanding better pay and protections. Though none of the universities would answer the question of why they have agreed now, of all times, to long-resisted contracts with their graduate students, independent experts say the motivations include politics and public relations.
Full report on The Washington Post site