Eliminating Fees for SUNY Graduate Student Workers
ELIMINATING FEES FOR GRADUATE STUDENT EMPLOYEES (Budget Request)
At our states’ public institutions of higher education, graduate student employees who are relied upon to teach classes, grade papers and conduct research are collapsing under the weight of onerous school fees.
➔ CWA-GSEU (Graduate Student Employees Union) represents approximately 5,000 Teaching and Graduate Assistants throughout the SUNY system.
➔ While tuition is waived, graduate student employees are still forced to pay up to 15-20% of their salaries in onerous fees. These fees even increased during the pandemic, despite unprecedented financial hardship for many.
➔ CWA-GSEU members are an essential workforce for SUNY and vital to the competitiveness and success of the system as a whole.
➔ This constitutes a “pay-to-work” system in which employees are being charged for the maintenance and upkeep of the workplace, rather than the employer bearing full responsibility for such operating costs, as is the norm in most workplaces.
➔ Every year, graduate employees take out loans, skip meals, and even sell blood plasma just to pay their unjust fees.
Permanently eliminate fees for 5,000 SUNY graduate student workers in the FY2024 budget. State higher education institutions cannot close their funding gaps on the backs of graduate student workers, who are the foundation of the SUNY system!