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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–The Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition (IGWC) wants to build a coalition of graduate workers at universities throughout Indiana.

The IGWC just wrapped up a three-day strike at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. They want union recognition along with better pay.

“We’re calling upon other universities to begin organizing and get in contact with us so we can talk about how you organize to win in a place like Indiana where there is not a clear pathway to union recognition,” said Organizing Coordinator of the IGWC Zara Anwarzai.

Anwarzai says they’ve always based their demand for pay on the MIT cost of living calculator.

“Right now, it estimates that for one adult with no children, you should be making $41,000 per year to live sufficiently in Bloomington. Currently, our base stipend is $23,000 per year for the fall of 2024. That’s way below the cost of living,” said Anwarzai.

Graduate workers at Purdue University make a base stipend of about $20,000 on 10-month contracts in West Lafayette, where the annual cost of living is $40,000. Graduate workers at IU Indianapolis have no campus-wide stipend.

“Due to the less-than-living wage, graduate workers at Purdue skip medications, utilities services, sometimes eat spoiled food to make ends meet,” Andy Lee, a graduate worker in the Department of Biological Sciences and organizer with Graduate Rights and Our Wellbeing (GROW) at Purdue, said. “This is unacceptable. We believe the university should be a place that supports everyone- including international students, first generation graduate students, graduate students with families, and other groups of traditionally marginalized communities within higher education. A work environment that only allows some of us to succeed is a failure.”

Earlier this week, the faculty at IU voted no confidence in IU President Pamela Whitten (93%), Provost Rahul Shrivastav (91%), and Vice-Provost Carrie Docherty (75%). After that vote, Anwarzai said she heard all three people say they would listen to the faculty and the community and find a way to work together, but the IGWC hasn’t heard from any of them.

“And yet, they continue to ignore the majority of graduate workers on this campus despite continuous and persistent efforts to contact them and set up meetings even in the days leading up to the strike,” said Anwarzai.


The post How Graduate Workers at Indiana University Hope to Expand Their Calls for Better Pay appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM.

How Graduate Workers at Indiana University Hope to Expand Their Calls for Better Pay  was originally published on

1. IGWC Strike Photo 1

IGWC Strike Photo 1 Source:IGWC

A photo of some of the those striking at IU this week. 

2. Strike at IU Photo 2

Strike at IU Photo 2 Source:IGWC

This is another shot of the people protesting at IU. 

3. IGWC Strike Photo 3

IGWC Strike Photo 3 Source:IGWC

This strike lasted for three days. Now they are looking to expand.