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Graduate student strike ends at Indiana University

The students are pushing for union recognition and better wages.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Friday marks the end to a three-day strike held by graduate students. The students are pushing for union recognition and better wages.

“Grades don’t get entered, papers aren’t read, quizzes won’t be graded if grad students arent there,”  Bryce Greene said. “Students won’t get assistance, there’s a personal touch that comes with that education that grad students are an essential part of.”

Since Wednesday, the students have had picket signs instead of books in their hands and skipped classes.

“Despite how wonderful the department is, there’s structural problems within the university that make education inaccessible,” graduate student Matthew Rodriguez said.

The Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition says they’ve spent years fighting for better wages. But it wasn’t until a strike in 2022 when the university raised wages by 50%.

A university spokesperson told 13News the minimum stipend for grad students will be $23,000 next school year. Along with the stipend,  the university offers free tuition and health insurance to graduate students.

IGWC members want the stipend to be raised by $5,000 to $28,000.

“Even under the current stipend we currently make, they are almost half of what the living wage is in Monroe County,” IGWC spokesperson David Garner said.


Just one day before the strike started, in President Pamela Whitten and two administrators. IGWC leaders say the vote was the start of the change they are wanting.

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In response to the no confidence vote, Whitten wrote:

“While we will not always agree, our community is made stronger by an array of viewpoints and voices—including those expressed as part of this process.

We serve at a time when trust in higher education is at record lows, and expectations for our role as an economic and cultural driver are at record highs. Our self-concept of purpose and value often differs wildly from how we are viewed by lawmakers, civic leaders, industry and much of the general public. Such differences are not tenable forever.

There is no going back to an earlier time. Demographic changes, resulting financial realities, and political developments are only accelerating. To combat the challenges that mark this new environment, I welcome thoughtful ideas and consideration.”

IGWC said they hope the faculty who voted no confidence will stand with them in their fight.

After this strike, IGWC told 13News they are working with other university organization to create a statewide movement. Another student organization, the Indiana Daily Student newspaper, will stage a walkout next Thursday in response to budget cuts.

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