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IU Bloomington Goes Through Tense Graduate Student Worker Labor Dispute

Indiana University Bloomington has been going through a months-long graduate student labor dispute, with many student graduate workers staging a labor strike for four weeks in April, asking for union recognition from the IU administration and an official process to discuss benefits, higher wages, and fee reduction, The Herald-Times reported.Iu Bloomington

Approximately 1,600 of IU Bloomington's 2,500 graduate workers are members of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition (IGWC).

IU Bloomington faculty have come out in support of grad student unionization and called for no administrative retaliation against those who participated in the strike. 

And now, they are criticizing the administration and its response to the dispute via a recent letter signed by 283 faculty members.

"For while you express appreciation for the concerns of students and faculty, you disregard both the organized efforts of graduate student workers to express their concerns and faculty efforts to support them," the faculty letter reads. 

IU Bloomington Provost Dr. Rahul Shrivastav announced changes to address the dispute, such as a higher stipend and a specialized task force. However, admins and the board of trustees still reject unionization efforts.

In a May 31 board of trustees' letter, trustees said graduate workers, staff and tenured faculty who don’t uphold work responsibilities will be subject to consequences outlined in various policies. 

"The current administration's position has contributed to a climate of fear on campus for graduate student workers and for faculty who support them," the faculty letter reads.

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