Graduate students at University of Michigan want to reduce transgender healthcare wait times

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

The University of Michigan, which is no stranger to controversy, is in the middle of a back-and-forth labor issue between the administration and graduate student workers. The graduate student worker union, the Graduate Employee’s Organization (GEO), published an opinion editorial in the student newspaper that outlined a long list of progressive demands.

In the Michigan Daily, the GEO issued its demands, which included the following:

  • “A living wage for all graduate workers” with a 60% pay raise in the first year of a new contract
  • Hiring more staff to reduce wait times for transgender health care
  • Higher childcare subsidies for parents
  • An emergency fund for international graduate workers
  • Implementing a minimum wage for graduate internships in social work
  • Addition of a “community-based, non-violent emergency response program,” which would disarm campus police as a part of the progressive Left’s desire to defund the police

You can read the complete list of demands online.

For context, graduate student workers who work part time earn $24,050 per year (per two semesters), have no monthly premium in their health insurance, a tuition waiver that covers up to $12,947 per semester for in-state students or covers up to $26,062 for out-of-state students. These workers also have access to childcare subsidy of $3,043 per semester for one child or $6,631 per semester for three children or more.

But the written word is not the only method of pressuring the university’s administration. GEO organized a picket outside of the administrative building earlier on January 10.

In response, the University of Michigan disagreed with the union’s claims. Associate vice provost and senior director for academic human resources, Sascha Matish, said that the union’s demands were unreasonable. For example, GEO wanted the negotiation sessions open to the public. The university said that public attendance would disrupt the sensitive nature of negotiations.