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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Thursday, March 5, 2020

MLA Statement on the Termination of Graduate Student Strikers at the University of California, Santa Cruz

The Executive Council approved the following statement in March 2020.
The Executive Council of the Modern Language Association condemns the termination of employment for graduate student strikers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, calls for their reinstatement, and urges the university to commence negotiations with the students as soon as possible. We consider that their demands for an appropriate augmentation of salary in line with the increased costs of living are legitimate and note that they now have the full support of the UAW, with whom the university is contracted. Graduate students are indispensable workers who cannot be expected to execute their teaching duties and to pursue their own research when housing and food costs are not affordable with their current wages. The Modern Language Association maintains that graduate students should be compensated at a level that makes it possible for them to flourish on campus as research assistants, teachers, and emerging scholars. A fair wage correlated with cost of living increases is a necessary precondition for their own work, essential to fulfilling the educational mandate of their departments, and essential for the dignity of all workers at the university. To punish students for exercising their rights to demand a decent wage is, in our view, unjust and unacceptable, and all penalties should be reversed immediately.


gasstationwithoutpumps said...

Did anyone in the MLA do a calculation of what hourly rate the students were asking for? They were asking for $52.57/hour, which seems a little high for a TAship. Note that the students who were fired have been paid for 10 weeks of doing no work.

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