It does seem that the taxation of graduate student tuition waivers and the repeal of student loan interest deductions are both dead as regards the GOP tax bill. The overall consequences for higher education of the bill are not clear, but they do seem to be negative, especially for universities reliant on endowments and/or public funding.
This week (Tuesday), Fiona Doyle, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division put out a second anti-union message, suggesting to graduate student researchers (GSRs) that they should think twice before voting for unionization.
- The message implied that graduate student representatives would deliberately deceive fellow students.
- The message also falsely claims that unionized GSRs would not be able to negotiate employment conditions with their supervisors. Of course, they will be able negotiate with their supervisors-with a better sense of reasonable workload and in much the same way and to a similar extent as they do now.
- Although the message claims neutrality– “UC neither discourages nor encourages unionization”– we shouldn’t forget that UC consistently fought against the passage of SB201, the bill that now makes GSRs employees entitled to unionization.
This sort of hostile messaging can only spark worse relations between faculty and graduate students. No doubt the conflict will continue next semester when the UAW – the union representing GSIs – begins to bargain with the university.
We would like to congratulate Lisa García Bedolla (BFA board member) and C. Greig Crysler (long-standing BFA member) on receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence and Equity (CAAIEE).
Enjoy the holidays while you can. We are going to take a break next Monday, December 25th.
Chair of the BFA.
Berkeley Faculty Association