GEO Grad employees are SQUEEZED BY FEES!
Vlog about the Squeezed by Fees action by GEO UAW 2322 Grad Employee Organization and their struggle for a fair contract at UMass Amherst
Thursday, March 15, 2007
"The Lemon Drop"--GEO delivers hundreds of petitions to Trustees
Graduate student employees Swati Birla and Irene Boeckmann deliver a basket full of lemons and hundreds of petitions urging a no vote on fee increases to the UMass Board of Trustees. The Graduate Employee Organization/UAW Local 2322 is currently negotiating their 7th contract with the University, and reducing mandatory fees are a key issue in the negotiations.
Fees have increased 126% since 2001 and have eaten away at the wage increases gained by graduate employees. UMass ranks last among its peer institutions when you look at stipends offered vs fees charged--at Rutgers, graduate employees earn approximately $5000 more and pay $0 in fees. Simply put, the fees at UMass Amherst make the University less competitive in a variety of ways. The curriculum fees charged to departments for each grad employee make it harder to compete for smaller grants, and the other mandatory fees make UConn a more appealing choice than UMass Amherst.