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?
- Erupting Bardarbunga Volcano In Iceland Sits On A Massive Magma Hot Spot
- Researchers Created A Laser Bullet To See What It Would Look Like - And Here It Is
- Genetically Modified Stem Cells Kill Brain Tumors
- How Gut Bacteria Ensure A Healthy Brain – and Could Play A Role In Treating Depression
- Ebola's Evolutionary Roots Are Ancient
- Preventing Murder: 3 Ways To Predict Who Will Become A Killer
- We're Too Late To Prevent 137,000 More Ebola Cases, Says Epidemiology Paper
- "/* Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans. */ Apparently the mainstream physicists are..."
- "Part of being a theorist in any subfield is trying to explain the results that we have in hand..."
- "This essay interested me immensely. My father claimed to be an 'atheist' all his life but..."
- "Not all of us are explorers, much less pioneers. The author is certainly not the latter and too..."
- " Obviously 300% more fish farming means more illnesses and more antibiotic use.Is it really..."
- How to sell a toxic pesticide the smart way–call it organic
- Leftist dystopia? Anti-technology fever animates opposition to GMOs and other ‘disruptive’ technologies
- CDC faced a nearly impossible balancing act with Ebola, and failed
- Why Chobani reversed course, making yoghurt only from milk from cows not fed GMO grain
- Monterey, California, hotbed of anti-GMO activism, home to new GMO corn farm
- Evolution is sometimes messy or even outright ridiculous