U.S. graduate students protest against low pay while universities profit from their work

Student workers often earn ‘below the minimum living wage’ for helping teach courses and assisting with research.

Thousands of graduate student workers at private and public universities have gone on strike over the past few years, from Ivy League institutions like Harvard University and Columbia University to public state universities in California.

Graduate workers at even more colleges have organized unions in spite of staunch opposition from their administrations. Among the most pressing unifying themes among graduate student workers organizing unions and holding protest actions and strikes is the low pay, an issue plaguing graduate student workers around the U.S.

In the U.S., graduate workers take on jobs such as helping teach courses, assisting with research projects and performing often vital clerical tasks that help run academic institutions.

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