Committees

Members grow the strength, efficacy and diversity of our union through a number of standing committees. To find additional information or to get involved, click the link to your committee of interest below (under construction).

  • Committee on Political Education (COPE)
  • Health & Safety Committee (public sector)
  • Lavender Caucus (LGBTQ members)
  • Organizing Committee
  • Solidarity Committee
  • Stewards Council
  • Veterans Committee
  • Women’s Caucus
  • Workplace Safety (private sector)
  • Young Workers

 

SEIU’s Henry: Trump Dept of Labor nominee Puzder dead wrong for America’s working families

Mary Kay Henry

Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on President-elect Trump’s intended nomination of Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, to be Secretary of Labor:

“With the intended nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor, President-elect Trump has once again shown how out-of-touch he is with what working Americans need. Working families, including those who elected him, issued a mandate for economic change because they are sick and tired of working longer and harder than ever but still struggling to build a better future for their families. Puzder has proven he doesn’t support working people: he opposes raises to the minimum wage, even though every time Americans have been called to vote for raises on the ballot, they always do.

“Throughout his career, Andrew Puzder has shown he does not believe in the dignity of all work and has used his position to line his own pockets at the expense of workers. In 2012, Puzder made $4.4 million, a full 291 times more than the average food worker. He doesn’t support measures that would help families who work hard build a better life, such as the overtime rule, which would put more money in the pockets of millions of workers for the extra work they do. He wants machines to replace workers because robots ‘never take a vacation’ – even though robots can not ever replace the work that people do. He has stood with Republican congressional leaders who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act – even though his underpaid workers and millions of working Americans depend on it for healthcare.

“Working Americans aren’t fooled by the anti-worker Trump-Puzder vision for America. They know it threatens their ability to have a voice and to provide for their families. That is why millions of American workers continue to come together through the Fight for $15 movement to make President-elect Trump and his administration deal with our economic reality. Together, workers in the Fight for $15 movement have made the kind of economic change America is crying out for by paving the way for 20 million people to get a raise. SEIU members will not back down, we will stay in the streets to fight back against anti-worker extremism and we will not stop until all work in valued and every community in America has the opportunity to thrive.”

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Save the Date: Major ‘RaiseUp’ Legislative Announcement November 29!

Through our Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, human service workers and educators have been on the front lines of the fight to tackle income inequality and build an economy that works for everyone. Together, we won an historic increase in the minimum wage, earned sick time benefits for all MA families, and launched a campaign to amend the state constitution to invest in education and transportation by making millionaires pay their fair share.

The November election has demonstrated that our work at the state level in Massachusetts is more important than ever — and we’re ready to make a major legislative announcement regarding the next step in our historic effort.

Join us Tuesday, November 29, at 1:30PM at the Grand Staircase on the 2nd Floor of the Massachusetts State House for this important important announcement.

What: Raise Up Massachusetts Legislative Announcement and Rally
When: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 at 1:30PM
Where: Grand Staircase, 2nd Floor, Massachusetts State House

On the 29th, working families from across the Commonwealth will come together to rally for a landmark bill we plan to file in the next legislation session. Join Raise Up Massachusetts as we hold our legislators accountable to all workers in the Commonwealth.

Join with hundreds of workers from across Massachusetts as we stand together as one movement for a better Commonwealth.

In Solidarity,

Tousignant Signature fname_tsp

 

 

Susan Tousignant, President

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Vote ‘No On 2’ to Save Our Public Schools

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The election is just a few days away and public school students across Massachusetts need your help!

As you may know, parents and educators are in locked into a fight with out-of-state billionaires who are trying to take over our public education system by passing Question #2 on Tuesday’s ballot. Local 509 is standing with thousands of concerned teachers and parents in asking that you VOTE NO ON QUESTION #2 so we can maintain our public schools and say no to unaccountable charter initiatives.

Pulls show a dead-even campaign on Question 2 with momentum on our side, so every conversation, door knock and phone call makes a big difference! Join Senator Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and over 200 school committees from across the state in voting NO on Question 2.  

Want to take action in the final days of this campaign? Contact Deputy Political Director Calvin Feliciano to get involved!

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2016 General Election Endorsements

VOTE Nov 8 Feature

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Here’s just a few of our most important legislative priorities:

Increase Funding at the Department of Children and Families
Keep at-risk kids safe from abuse and neglect by supporting the funding increases needed to hire additional DCF social workers to reduce caseloads for front-line social workers and investigators.

Keep Health Insurance Costs  from Increasing for State Workers
Allow state employees to continue to pay the same premium share through the GIC, which potentially saving our families upwards of $2,000 a year in increased health insurance costs.

Increase Access to Early Ed with a Living Wage for Providers
Upwards of 40,000 kids remain on a wait list for affordable child care and early education opportunities in MA. Meanwhile, family child care educators who provide these essential services struggle to make ends meet.  We must continue to fight for appropriate funding to reduce this wait list and support the efforts to increase provider salaries to $15 an hour.

Pass the “Millionaires Tax” to Invest in Transit and Education
To generate the revenue needed to make improvements to our crumbling infrastructure and ensure that every child in the Commonwealth has access to a quality public education from pre-k to college, we must tax millionaires in Massachusetts at a higher rate.

Support Paid Family and Medical Leave
Right now 1.2 million workers in Massachusetts risk losing their jobs if they need to take time off to recover from childbirth or take care of a sick family member with a serious illness. Supporting the passage of Paid Family and Medical Leave in MA could help right this wrong.

Ballot Initiative Endorsement: Vote ‘NO’ on Question 2

SEIU Local 509 is standing with thousands of concerned teachers and parents in asking that you vote ‘no’ on Question 2 to maintain our public schools and block unaccountable charter initiatives.
Click here to learn more about this ballot initiative and its impact on our communities.

State Representative Endorsements

Our Committee on Political Education (COPE) has endorsed the following people for State Representative based on their exemplary record of supporting 85% or more of our legislative priorities.

Full Title District 509 Voting Record
Rep. Denise Provost TWENTY-SEVENTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Gerry Cassidy NINTH PLYMOUTH DISTRICT 100 %
Sen. Hank Naughton TWELFTH WORCESTER DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Jose Tosado NINTH HAMPDEN DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Josh Cutler SIXTH PLYMOUTH DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Liz Malia ELEVENTH SUFFOLK DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Mary Keefe FIFTEENTH WORCESTER DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Mike Day THIRTY-FIRST MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier THIRD BERKSHIRE DISTRICT 100 %
Rep. Cory Atkins FOURTEENTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 96 %
Rep. Jared Parisella SIXTH ESSEX DISTRICT 94 %
Sen. Ken Gordon TWENTY-FIRST MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 92 %
Rep. Jim Cantwell FOURTH PLYMOUTH DISTRICT 91 %
Rep. John Rogers TWELFTH NORFOLK DISTRICT 90 %
Rep. Tom Stanley NINTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 90 %
Sen. Evandro Carvalho FIFTH SUFFOLK DISTRICT 88 %
Rep. Linda Dean Campbell FIFTEENTH ESSEX DISTRICT 88 %
Rep. Tom Calter TWELFTH PLYMOUTH DISTRICT 88 %
Rep. Rady Mom EIGHTEENTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 86 %
Rep. Danielle Gregoire FOURTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT *
Aaron Kanzer SECOND BARNSTABLE DISTRICT *
Brian Murray TENTH WORCESTER DISTRICT *
Chynah Tyler SEVENTH SUFFOLK DISTRICT *
Rep. David Viera THIRD BARNSTABLE DISTRICT *
Dylan Fernandes BARNSTABLE, DUKES & NANTUCKET DISTRICT *
Estele Bourges THIRD BRISTOL DISTRICT *
Jack Patrick Lewis SEVENTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT *
Jen Migliore NINTH ESSEX DISTRICT *
Joan Meschino THIRD PLYMOUTH DISTRICT *
John Mahoney FIRST PLYMOUTH DISTRICT *
Kara Nyman FIFTH PLYMOUTH DISTRICT *
Michael Toole FIRST BRISTOL DISTRICT *
Rep. Moses Dixon SEVENTEENTH WORCESTER DISTRICT *
Rep. Natalie Higgins FOURTH WORCESTER DISTRICT *
Paul Jacques FOURTH BRISTOL DISTRICT *
Rosemary Sandlin THIRD HAMPDEN DISTRICT *
Sara Hewins SECOND PLYMOUTH DISTRICT *

 

State Senator Endorsements

Local 509 COPE has also endorsed the following people for State Senate based on their exemplary record of supporting 85% or more of our legislative priorities.

Full Title District 509 Voting Record
Sen. Barbara L’Italien SECOND ESSEX & MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 100 %
Sen. Jamie Eldridge MIDDLESEX & WORCESTER DISTRICT 100 %
Sen. Jason Lewis FIFTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 100 %
Sen. John Keenan NORFOLK & PLYMOUTH DISTRICT 100 %
Sen. Stan Rosenberg HAMPSHIRE, FRANKLIN & WORCESTER DISTRICT 100 %
Sen. Mike Moore SECOND WORCESTER DISTRICT 93 %
Sen. Katie O’Connor Ives CAPE & ISLANDS DISTRICT 92 %
Sen. Marc Pacheco FIRST PLYMOUTH & BRISTOL DISTRICT 91 %
Sen. Anne Gobi WORCESTER, HAMPDEN, HAMPSHIRE & MIDDLESEX DISTRICT 89 %
Sen. Eric Lessor FIRST HAMPDEN & HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT 89 %
Sen. Partrick O’Connor PLYMOUTH & NORFOLK DISTRICT 89 %
Adam Hinds BERKSHIRE, HAMPSHIRE, FRANKLIN & HAMPDEN DISTRICT *
Sen. Don Humanson SECOND HAMPDEN & HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT *
Julian Cyr CAPE & ISLANDS DISTRICT *
Sen. Walter Timilty NORFOLK, BRISTOL & PLYMOUTH DISTRICT *

*For open seat races, the Committee On Political Education interviewed candidates to assess if they were committed to 509’s legislative priorities. In some cases, incumbents who did not meet our strict 85% cutoff rating were endorsed based on being a recent champion of some of our highest priority legislation.

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Henry: Rising Insurance Premiums Signal Next Congress Must Get Serious About Healthcare Costs

Washington, DC – SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement in response to an increase in premium rates from insurance companies for some plans offered through healthcare.gov:

“The fact that insurance companies are increasing healthcare premiums is not news to working people, but it is a warning bell for the next Congress. For six years and more than 60 repeal votes, opponents of the healthcare law have refused to share a serious, comprehensive plan to strengthen and improve it. Today, we are seeing a direct result of their inaction.

“As Americans are getting ready to choose a healthcare plan starting November 1, they should know that higher tax credits will be available for plans with the greatest increases. In fact, more than 8 in 10 people shopping on healthcare.gov last year received tax credits to help pay for their insurance and this year 75 percent of people will still be able to find a plan for less than $75 a month.

“The law is here to stay, but as the nation’s largest union of healthcare workers, we know it must be strengthened. Americans are beyond frustrated by a Congress that has put politics before their health and by healthcare headlines that are their daily reality, whether it’s drug company CEO’s making millions from life-saving cancer drugs, or the lack of transparency when it comes to what a doctor visit or procedure actually costs.

“The nurses, doctors and healthcare workers of SEIU know that Hillary Clinton will be a president who will come to the table with new ideas and new solutions to lower healthcare costs, and improve a law that is covering more Americans than ever before in our history. Every member of Congress should be prepared to do the same.”

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El alza a las primas de seguros indica que el próximo Congreso debe tomar en serio el costo de atención médica

WASHINGTON, D.C.— La presidenta del sindicato SEIU internacional, Mary Kay Henry, hizo la siguiente declaración en torno al aumento al costo de las primas por parte de las compañías aseguradoras para algunos planes que se ofrecen a través del portal cuidadodesalud.gov: 

“El hecho de que las compañías aseguradoras estén aumentando las primas de atención médica no es noticia para los trabajadores, pero es una advertencia para el próximo Congreso. Durante 6 años y más de 60 votos para revocarla, los opositores a la ley de atención médica se han negado a compartir un plan serio integral para fortalecerla y mejorarla. Hoy en día, estamos viendo el resultado directo de su inacción.

“Mientras que los norteamericanos se preparan para elegir un plan médico a partir del 1º de noviembre, deben saber que habrá un incremento de créditos de impuestos para los planes con los mayores aumentos. De hecho, más de 8 de cada 10 personas que compraron en el portal, cuidadodesalud.gov el año pasado recibieron créditos fiscales para ayudarles a pagar su seguro, y este año, el 75% de las personas todavía podrá encontrar un plan por menos de $75 al mes.

“La ley llegó para quedarse, pero nosotros, como el sindicato más grande de trabajadores del sector de salud, sabemos que debe ser fortalecida. Los norteamericanos están más que frustrados con un Congreso que ha puesto la política por encima de su salud y con titulares de prensa sobre atención médica que son su realidad diaria: ya sea que los ejecutivos de las compañías farmacéuticas están ganando millones con medicinas contra el cáncer para salvar vidas, o bien la falta de transparencia cuando se trata del costo real de una consulta al doctor o de un procedimiento.

“Las enfermeras, los doctores y los trabajadores del sector de salud de SEIU saben que Hillary Clinton será una presidenta que acudirá a la mesa de negociaciones con nuevas ideas y nuevas soluciones para bajar los costos de la atención médica y para mejorar una ley que está cubriendo a más estadounidenses que nunca antes en nuestra historia. Todo miembro del Congreso debería estar preparado para hacer lo mismo.”

 

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Help Ensure Our Voices are Heard in November! // Asegurar que Nuestras Voces sean Escuchadas en Noviembre!

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Political Sign Up Buttons_ENGBelieve it or not, Election Day is just around the corner — and we only have a few weeks left to make a difference as we elect a new President, send legislators to represent us on Beacon Hill, and fight to preserve public education in Massachusetts.

As part of our effort to ensure the voices of human service workers and educators are heard on November 8th, SEIU 509 members will have the opportunity to participate in our fall Political Action Program.  As in previous years, we plan to do all we can to elect state and local elected leaders who understand the issues that matter most to SEIU members and the communities we serve. We’ll also fight to protect funding for our public schools by defeating Question 2 — in addition to campaigning in New Hampshire to help defeat Donald Trump’s destructive agenda.

I hope you’ll get involved by signing up here.

Our push for fairer workplaces and stronger communities doesn’t stop with the fall elections. We’ll need to work hard to support the allies we elect as they pursue a progressive legislative agenda in 2017 and beyond. From the fight for a $15/hour minimum wage, to making millionaires pay their fair share in taxes, to comprehensive immigration reform, to paid family and medical leave, we’ll need all hands on deck.  Sign up here to get involved in any or all of these important issues. 

The SEIU Political Action Program will launch on Thursday, October 13 and run through Election Day. So whether you’re interested in volunteering on a local campaign, getting involved in a ballot initiative, taking a trip to a presidential battleground state like New Hampshire or just staying informed of future opportunities, be sure to sign up using the online form. We’ll have updates soon on a host of events, from our upcoming member political action training to celebratory Election Night events.

This is an important political season for human service workers and educators throughout the Commonwealth and across the country. Even if you only have an hour or two to spare in the coming weeks, I hope you’ll get involved.  

Thank you for all you do!

Sincerely,
Tousignant Signature fname_tsp

Susan Tousignant, President

P.S. If you have any questions or need additional information, feel free to contact Bridget Quinn or Calvin Feliciano



Political Sign Up Buttons_ESPEl día de elección ya está por venir — solo tenemos un par de semanas en asegurarnos que hagamos las diferencia en lo que elijamos el nuevo presidente, los legislativos estatales quienes nos van a servir en Beacon Hill, y vamos a batallar para asegurar que preservemos la educación pública en Massachusetts. 

Como parte de nuestros esfuerzos y en asegurarnos que las voces de trabajadores sociales y de educadores sea escuchada vamos a tener un Programa Político Comenzando el 8 de noviembre. Como en años anteriores estamos planificando en hacer todo lo que podamos hacer para elegir un nuevo liderazgo. También vamos a batallar para proteger los fondos de pregunta dos y batallar contra Trump. 

Espero que se involucren y se inscríban aquí­. 

Nuestros esfuerzos por trabajos justos y comunidades fuertes no para con la elección del otoño. Vamos tener que seguir trabajando para apoyar los que nos apoyando a nosotros mientras ellos persiguen una agenda progresiva para el año 2017.  Desde nuestra batalla para un pago mínimo de $15 dólares la hora, hacer que los millonarios paguen su parte justa en impuestos, aun plan comprehensivo inmigratorio, y al tiempo pago de familia de atención médica, vamos a necesitar a todos ustedes. Inscríbase aquí para que se involucren en una de estas oportunidades.

El programa político de SEIU va a comenzar el 13 de octubre y va a continuar durante el día de elecciones. Si estas interesada en ser voluntario quieres ser parte de una campaña local y desea quedarse al día con las elecciones por favor inscríbase hoy en esta lista. 

Esta etapa electoral es sumamente importante para los trabajadores de servicios humanos y para educadores en nuestro estado. Si tienes una hora o dos por favor yo espero que ustedes se involucren.  

Gracias por todo lo que hacen.

Sinceramente,
Tousignant Signature fname_tsp

Susan Tousignant, Presidenta

P.D. Si tienen algunas preguntas y necesitan más información por favor contacten a Bridget Quinn o Calvin Feliciano.

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September 10: Rally to ‘Raise America’ through Fair Wages!

Raise America September 10Human service workers and educators have long been at the forefront of the fight to raise wages and improve working conditions across Massachusetts. With the support of faith leaders and community allies, we’ve won major increases in the minimum wage, secured earned sick time for more than a million working families, and set new standards in compensation and job security on college campuses and in family child care settings from Boston to the Berkshires.

This fall, nearly 15,000 janitors across New England will come together to negotiate new contracts that build on the progress made over many years to raise standards in the industry. Their struggle for fair wages comes amidst our own bargaining sessions in Higher Education and Early Childhood Education — and may set the stage for upcoming contract negotiations covering thousands of State Employees and Private Sector Human Service workers throughout the Commonwealth.

On Saturday, September 10, human service workers and educators will join janitors and service staff represented by SEIU 32BJ for a rally to ‘Raise America’. Join us at the Boston Common bandstand at 1:00pm as we bring the ‘Fight for $15’ to new heights!

‘RAISE AMERICA’ RALLY WITH SEIU 32BJ

Saturday, September 10
Gathering at 1:00opm

Boston Common – Parkman Band Stand
(underground parking in the Common Garage – 0 Charles Street, Boston)

Click here to join us and make your voice heard! 

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Boston Faculty Welcome Graduate Employees in Movement to Improve Higher Education

Following federal decision to restore graduate workers’ rights, local educators highlight victories on pay, benefits and their voice in campus decisions through FacultyForward/SEIU Local 509

Tufts Lecturers Welcome Grad Employees 82316

Tufts University FacultyForward members gather to send a message of congratulations to their graduate employee colleagues.

BOSTON, MA – Unionized faculty throughout Greater Boston hailed today’s historic Columbia decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – a landmark ruling that asserts the rights and protections of graduate employees nationwide under the National Labor Relations Act. Educators at local private colleges and universities celebrated the prospect of graduate assistant colleagues joining the robust movement to improve teaching and learning conditions in higher education.

“Today marks an important milestone in a greater union movement that is fighting back against the corporatized reality of modern higher education,” stated Max White, an English lecturer and FacultyForward/SEIU member from Northeastern University. “We know first-hand how precarious the graduate employee situation can be, and we welcome all who choose to join us in the fight to steer higher education to invest more in the classroom.”

At Boston University, Writing Program lecturer Marie McDonough expressed enthusiasm for the decision: “We are excited to start off the school year knowing that graduate students who teach and do research in our universities now have a right to a join us in the fight to improve the learning environment for our students.”
Non-tenure-track faculty at Boston-area universities form the backbone of a robust, nationwide campaign to address the crisis in higher education – winning a series of impressive victories that have improved compensation and teaching conditions through unionization. Nearly 4,000 educators have now joined in the shared effort to raise standards and improve the overall quality of higher education through SEIU Local 509’s Faculty Forward initiative. Contingent faculty broke new ground earlier this year with strong first contracts at Bentley, Boston University and Northeastern, following landmark agreements at Tufts and Lesley in 2015. Negotiations are underway among non-tenure-track faculty at Brandeis University. Full-time lecturers and instructors have also entered the fray in recent months, netting landslide union victories at Tufts, BU and Lesley.

“We are thrilled to welcome graduate students into our movement for equitable wages and benefits, as well as course stability and security,” said, Tufts University Senior Lecturer and SEIU 509 member Elizabeth Lemons. “Graduate students with teaching and research assistantships likewise deserve fair treatment and respect for the crucial work that they do with students and as researchers. We look forward to their help building a hospitable academic community—one that values the contributions of all university workers. A respectful community with equitable working conditions is the best environment for student learning.”

The educator-led movement to improve teaching and learning conditions has resonated nationally as well. Just days ago, faculty from around the country convened with other underpaid workers in Richmond, Virginia at the first-ever Fight for $15 convention. Together, the delegation raised calls for better pay and union rights for all workers.

“Any opportunity for fellow instructors to have a say in shaping their working conditions is great news,” said Melissa Wolter-Gustafson, a lecturer from Northeastern’s English Department. “These new voices will strengthen our collective call for universities to begin reinvesting in teaching and in the learning conditions of their students.”

Graduate workers interested in the fight to raise standards in higher education can visit the Faculty Forward website to learn more and get involved.

 

**For interviews with faculty standing in solidarity with graduate employee colleagues, contact Gabriela Camargo Martins at (774) 326-0535 or gcmartins@seiu509.org.**

SEIU Local 509 represents more than 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including nearly 4,000 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit http://seiu509.org.

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509News | Summer 2016

You should have already received your copy of the 509News in the mail, but you can also access and download here. Read more about some of our recent victories, the upcoming 509 Leadership elections and how to obtain new member benefits.

Click here to view the newsletter in full screen.

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Graduate Workers Are Uniting to Change Higher Education

Many colleges and universities rely on the labor of graduate student workers to educate undergraduates, support research projects and further the work of tenured and tenure-track faculty, all of which contribute to making an exceptional academic experience, improve student outcomes and increase college ratings. However, graduate student assistants’ work is often under-rewarded and under-appreciated. We teach and research without an adequate voice in pay and university fees when the cost of living keeps going up. We often lack flexibility in healthcare coverage and basic protections that would prevent workplace harassment and discrimination and prevent sudden changes to our contracts and work conditions.  Too many  of us are completing programs with crushing debt loads and less than rosy prospects for permanent, full time work in their chosen field of study.

Colleges are acting more and more like big corporations and leaving graduate students with impossible choices — choosing between their future degree and field, their students, and their families.  You can be a part of the growing movement to tackle the crisis in higher education.

Click here to join us!

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