Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition votes to strike

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — The Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition voted Monday to begin a three-day strike starting Wednesday, with 97% of members voting in favor of the strike.

Some classes will be cancelled April 17, 18, and 19, according to a release from IGWC, and that undergraduate students are encouraged not to attend their classes to “stand in solidarity” with the coalitions and “shut down campus for these three days.”

There are three planned picketing events at buildings across campus. A rally will take place Wednesday at Ballantine Hall, Thursday at the Global and International Studies Building, and Friday at Woodburn Hall.

IGWC said that the strike is a result of the IU administration ignoring requests to form a union by graduate student workers, and that a union is necessary to champion higher wages and reduced student fees.

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 comes a day before IU faculty will decide whether to vote 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.