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Council Supports Boston University Graduate Workers

Graduate workers at Boston University are dedicated teachers, mentors and researchers whose work is the backbone of the university’s academic excellence.

The graduate workers won the right to form a union in 2022. The Boston University Graduate Workers Union, SEIU Local 509, represents 3,000 workers who have been negotiating their first contract since June 2023.

Workers formed a union to fight for a living wage, stronger benefits and workload protections to improve teaching and learning conditions for everyone on campus.

Current graduate workers’ wages are insufficient to meet the cost of living and many workers are facing food insecurity, financial instability, and unaffordable health care costs.

In a recent survey of union members, an overwhelming majority indicated that they are rent-burdened and more than half indicated that they are severely rent-burdened.

Over nine months of bargaining, the university has not meaningfully addressed the concerns of its own community of graduate workers.

This week, the Council expressed its support for Boston University Graduate workers and urged the Boston University Graduate Workers Union and Boston University to participate in a fair and speedy collective bargaining process that guarantees student workers’ fundamental right to a living wage, affordable health care and real improvements to working conditions.

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