Wednesday, February 21, 2024

UofM grad workers call for health insurance and living wage

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – In a letter despatched to the College of Memphis administration, graduate employees with the United Campus Staff (UCW) have made calls for for medical insurance and a residing wage.

The calls for embrace a medical insurance plan for grad employees that covers important advantages outlined within the Reasonably priced Care Act and pays for a minimum of 80% of lined medical bills.

The letter additionally requires a $15 minimal wage for all grad employees, and funding for grad employee medical insurance that doesn’t result in cuts in graduate stipends.

In keeping with UCW, the College of Memphis doesn’t at the moment assure medical insurance for grad employees.

UCW’s Graduate Employee Organizing Committee (GWOC) has been calling for the college to safe full medical insurance protection for all grad employees on campus for the previous three years.

Nevertheless, UCW says the college has refused to commit, even after securing R1 classification as a top-tier analysis college.

In June, UCW started a petition demanding higher working circumstances, together with honest staffing, higher tools and permitting employees to return to their earlier shifts after being moved to nights.

Within the infancy of the COVID-19 pandemic, UCW additionally referred to as on directors to ensure the safety of all these concerned on faculty/college campuses.

Though grad employees can opt-in for some healthcare providers by Church Well being Middle’s MEMPHIS Plan, this plan shouldn’t be insurance coverage, UCW says:

“U of M’s web site describes it as ‘a healthcare ministry… comprised of volunteer physicians and donated medical providers,’ and as of spring 2019, solely 49 grad college students had opted in to the plan.”

Earlier this summer season, UCW says it acquired phrase that the College was contemplating an “emergency fund” for bills not lined by the MEMPHIS Plan.

Nevertheless, union members argue that an emergency fund “would solely present the naked minimal, not the long run or preventative protection that different College of Memphis staff already take pleasure in.”

“The College of Memphis continues to be on the bottom doable finish of graduate stipends, whereas graduate college students proceed to navigate the excessive price of healthcare on our personal,” the GWOC writes. “It’s unacceptable {that a} College claiming standing as a world-class analysis establishment is unable to fulfill this fundamental want for its researchers and instructing assistants.”

“We’ll proceed to take our battle to new graduate college students on campus, undergraduates who’re contemplating graduate college, the broader UofM group, the media, and anybody else who will hear us,” GWOC stated in an announcement.

The letter UCW despatched to school administration is hooked up:

Motion Information 5 reached out to the college for remark, however no response has been given.

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