Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition begins three-day-long strike

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) —  Wednesday marked the start of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition’s “Three Days for a Raise” strike, which IGWC said is a result of the IU administration ignoring requests to form a union by graduate student workers.

Around 100 graduate workers were seen picketing around the north entrance to Ballantine Hall Wednesday afternoon.

“If the university isn’t able to follow up on their promises to improve graduate pay, we’re going to be out here going on strike again next semester, and the semester after that, and so on and so on until something gives,” said a department organizer Matthew Rodriguez.

“Who runs IU? We run IU,” was among the chants heard in and round central campus.

Some classes were cancelled Wednesday, and undergraduate students are encouraged not to attend their classes to “stand in solidarity” with the coalitions and “shut down campus for these three days,” according to a release from IGWC.

According to a release from IGWC, graduate student workers make $22,600 for a 10-month contract, whereas the living wage in Bloomington is $41,441 per year, according to MIT Living Wage Calculator.

In January, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition sent a demand to IU President Pamela Whitten, asking for union election. That demand went unanswered, IGWC said. In February, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition voted no confidence in Whitten, citing the lack of response to the demand for a union election.

Monday’s vote to strike was a day before IU faculty casted votes of no confidence in President Pamela Whitten, Provost Rahul Shrivastav, and Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Carrie Docherty.

The Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition previously went on strike during the spring 2022 semester.