Strike degrees
Posted by aogFriday, 13 November 2009 at 13:06 TrackBack Ping URL

I have been hearing from SWIPIAW about a looming strike of graduate students at UIUC. SWIPIAW is a bit unhappy because she has two graduate students who help here with grading and they may not be there just as finals and late semester projects come in.

I remember back in my days as a graduate student at UIUC, the GEO was just getting started. I naturally voted against it as it seemed stupid even for confused student types. As far as I could tell, it was a scam to get some resumé lines and move money from people in useful fields (like the hard sciences) to useless ones (sociology and other angry studies precursors). Nevertheless it passed. I can’t remember if I ended up being a member or not, although they certainly didn’t get any of my money.

In keeping with all of this, the GEO has apparently decided that with

  • The economy in a shambles, so the students are much more easily replaced.
  • The state is broke. It is literally just not cutting checks to schools, hospitals, NGOs, etc., including UIUC which last I heard was $347M short because of this.
  • Public support for unions is at the lowest levels measured.

Yes, quite the opportune time for a strike!

Comments — Formatting by Textile
David Cohen Saturday, 14 November 2009 at 11:44

I’m represented by a GEO. Man, it has to be the stupidest union ever. Reactionary and ineffectual — what a combination.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 15 November 2009 at 10:23

I have been wondering what they will do to research assistants who cross the picket lines. It’s one thing to be a teaching assistant and skip sections / grading. But an RA is hosing himself with a strike, basically sacrificing future paychecks at industry wages to support … what, exactly? Makes you doubt the value of higher education.

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