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September 8, 2022

Clark grad union announces strike vote

Photo | Timothy Doyle Clark University, Worcester

The Clark University Graduate Workers Union in Worcester has announced it plans to hold a strike authorization vote on Monday in response to negotiations with the University administration.

A strike authorization vote does not necessarily mean that the members would strike, but it allows the union’s bargaining team to declare a strike if it is deemed necessary.

The union is bargaining towards a salary floor, an increase in stipends and coverage of health insurance.

“We remain as open as ever to conducting good faith negotiations with Management. Unfortunately, management remains content to see most of us struggle to scrape by on poverty pay as we do the vital work of educating undergraduates and undertaking much of the research for which Clark University is renowned worldwide,” said union member William Westgard-Cruice via text message.

Graduate students teach many classes at the university, aid students in their academic progress and perform research functions. A strike could interrupt classes, student support systems, and research at the university.

The union voted to organize in March, supported by Worcester’s International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 170. 

The Clark union is part of a larger movement of private university graduate student worker unions, including at Harvard University in Cambridge, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and Columbia University in New York City.

Clark University did not respond to a request for comment.

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