I’m attaching a copy of the bargaining platform that was circulated by the leaders of the University of Michigan graduate student union. I don’t want to go into too much detail on my opinion of my fellow doctoral students, but I’d like to highlight how out of touch with reality these bargaining demands are in light of the current Michigan labor market:
- Full child-care subsidy.
- 3%, 3%, and 6% year-on-year wage increases for 2010, 2011, 2012.
- No cap on mental health care visits.
- Two pairs of glasses per year.
- Prevent student instructors from being removed for lack of English language proficiency.
- 401K with employer matching.
In case you didn’t know, graduate student instructors and research assistants (myself included) already get the following compensation:
- Full tuition waivers, which are worth between $20K (in-state) to $40K (out-of-state) after-tax per year.
- Monthly stipends ranging from $1000 to $2000 per month, some of which are tax-free.
- Healthcare benefits that exceed average private sector benefits.
- Access to a wide range of other University services.
That’s right, the demands above are in addition to this compensation that we already receive.
Go ahead and read the document itself below. Make sure to soak these demands in while looking at the unemployment rate and per-capita income for Michigan.