Before doing something, it’s best to know what it entails. Such a policy may not have been perfectly followed in Philadelphia.
As reported by The Temple News, on January 31st, the Temple University Graduate Students’ Association [TUGSA] declared a strike. Evidently, they aren’t highly paid:
The average graduate student worker earns approximately $19,500 a year and TUGSA members have been advocating for their pay to be increased to $32,800. Temple has offered the union a three percent annual pay increase, a one-time payment of $500 to certain individuals, double parental leave and additional bereavement leave.
In a February 6th announcement, Provost Gregory Mandel expressed the school’s desire for resolution:
Temple University and the Temple University Graduate Student Association (TUGSA) bargaining representatives are scheduled to meet with a mediator this week to discuss a path forward. The university’s top priority remains the shared learning experiences of students, and the community appreciates most graduate assistants, more than 80%, who continue their duties in instruction and research.
But the college also stood firm:
[I]t is imperative that all students continue to attend the classes for which they are registered and complete assignments as required by the assigned instructor. This is the best way for students to be sure that their academic progress is not impeded and they earn the credits for which they are registered.
Research and teaching assistants who do not report to work will not be paid and are subject to tuition payments while remaining off the job.
The above appears to have possibly been less than anticipated. As characterized by The College Fix, some refusing to work have been “shocked” to lose their health benefits and free tuition. Online, Ph.D. candidate Madison Ingram posted a screenshot of Temple’s missive to those not doing their jobs:
As a result of your participation in the TUGSA strike, your tuition remission has been removed for the spring semester. You now owe the full balance listed in TUpay, which is due by Thursday, March 9th.
If your balance is not paid-in-full by the due date, you will be assessed a $100 late payment fee and a financial hold will be placed on your student account. This hold will prevent future registration.
For your convenience, you can make payment online…
“Lol — ‘for my convenience,’” Madison wrote.
She also retweeted a presumed promotion of socialism:
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you’re not a capitalist. You’re a worker. You don’t own the factories. You don’t own the banks. You don’t own the company you work at. The sooner you learn that you’re one of us, not one of them, the sooner we can all get free.
The message seems in line with a modern misunderstanding. Despite an apparently common belief, socialism doesn’t transfer ownership to workers. Under socialism, government officials gain complete control of all products and means of production. Workers are still workers — but instead of operating within a system of competition, they work for the ultimate big business known as government. If they want to leave their jobs and work for someone else, they can’t — because no one else owns a business.
apitalism, in contrast to what many ostensibly think, is a system based on a free-market economy in which an individual may own his or her own business.
Regardless, in the realm of popular opinion, socialism is cleaning up:
Back to Temple University’s strike, University of New Brunswick Assistant Professor of Sociology Nathan Kalman-Lamb stated his solidarity:
“Really difficult to overstate what a public relations [mess] this image is for @TempleUniv. No tuition clawbacks — not even any punishing collective agreement — is going to make up for the harm this will *rightly* cause the institution.”
As for Temple Philosophy Ph.D. candidate Manasa Gopakumar, she crystallized her thoughts on the school’s stoppage of effective payment.
From Business Insider:
“This doesn’t come as a surprise, but we are appalled,” [Manasa] said in an interview. The decision to not just cut tuition benefits but health coverage, she said, “is extremely unconscionable.”
In times past, workers who stopped working might have expected not to be compensated for work. But evidently, expectations have changed.
Hopefully, the situation will soon get worked out.
Story cited here.
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