Graduate Student Group Calls For Unionization

The issue of wages and stipends in graduate student education has always been a hot one, and Penn State has not been immune from the issue. A student group, called the Coalition of Grauduate Employees (CGE), is calling for a unionization of the more than 6,000 graduate students at University Park to demand higher wages for Penn State’s graduate student employees.

Its members share the belief that “the presence of a professional union with legal bargaining power is the only thing that can efficiently and effectively fight for the economic, social, and political rights of graduate students employed by the administration,” according to its website.

The CGE will host an event in front of Old Main on Labor Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to announce the campaign for unionization. According to the Facebook event, members of the CGE spent the summer talking to fellow grad students about the possibility of a union and they hope to answer questions and further the discussion at the event.

After a sudden increase to grad students health care costs in the Spring of 2014, the CGE formed to combat what it says are rising concerns in the graduate student community. The group is working towards the goal of a union for RAs, TAs, and GAs. The long history of graduate student unionization has not come without controversy, so we should expect more on this story soon.

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