If you get into a Ph.D. program, are you there to learn and do research, like an academic, or are you there to earn a wage, like a corporate researcher? Basically, are you still a student or are you an employee?
A group of Michigan students who had sought to unionize a year ago has been denied. A few weeks back, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation clarifying that graduate student research assistants are not public employees as recognized by the state Public Employment Relations Act. So they can't form a union.
Without question, graduate students and post-docs are not well paid but unionizing won't help with that. In truth, academia produces six times as many Ph.D.s as it can employ in the public sector so artificially boosting wages for a few would just mean fewer research assistants can get jobs in government-funded labs and have to go work in the corporate world.
Government work certainly pays better than the private sector, so their interest is understandable - they get taxpayer money and at greater salaries than the private sector now gets, better benefits and a union to negotiate raises for them - and the verbage from activists was bombastic in response.
“We were clearly disappointed – disturbed, even – that our rights as graduate employees were attacked in this manner,” said Graduate Employees Organization President Samantha Montgomery, who clearly has never even read about, much less been a victim of, an actual attack or she wouldn't demean crime victims so casually. You're not an employee because you get paid a stipend, you get a 1099, Sam. It's simple.
Claiming you are not students was a silly route to take because then the government got to decide on the merits of that and not have to look anti-union, especially since they are the most pro-union state in the nation and that is why you tried there.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- My Thoughts On The LIGO-VIRGO Result
- The 10 catastrophic mistakes virtual reality firms are making
- Henri Poincaré Predicted The Existence Of Gravitational Waves As Early As June 5, 1905
- Gravitational Waves? Watch the LIGO press conference at 10:30 Eastern.
- Using Stories To Teach Human Values To Robots
- Giddings: The 750 GeV Diphoton Resonance Is A Graviton
- Put That In Your E-Cigarette And Vape It: Or Should You?
- "I am somewhat confused. Where did the three solar masses that were converted to gravity waves come..."
- "Veronique,You are right to suspect that the organic industry has been more than happy to go along..."
- "I'm not understanding yet, but this is like unravelling a fun physics puzzle. I'd thank you for..."
- "I would just like to thank the author of this article for having the balls to take a stand against..."
- Natural Flavors Are More Radioactive Than Artificial Ones.
- Bariatric Surgery Beneficial Even for Older People
- Opiates No Better at Easing Knee Osteoarthritis Pain
- BRCA Tests Increasing for Younger Breast Cancer Patients
- EWG Verified: A New Way To Greenmail Food Companies
- A Cluttered Kitchen May Undo Your Diet
- Eating breakfast could help obese people get more active
- 'Jaws' may help humans grow new teeth, shark study suggests
- For a special Valentine? Beyond diamonds and gems: The world's rarest minerals
- Most precise measurement of reactor Antineutrino spectrum reveals intriguing surprise
- Using stories to teach human values to artificial agents