Home » US universities hit by protests over cuts, tuition, right to unionize

US universities hit by protests over cuts, tuition, right to unionize

US universities hit by protests over cuts, tuition, right to unionize

Graduate workers in America’s higher education system are organizing in response to high tuition fees, cuts to staff and faculty positions, reduced budgets, and suppressed graduate workers’ right to organize unions. College and university administrations have introduced the measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com/international newspaper has reported.

Job losses have been substantial at US universities and colleges as student enrollment has declined, and reduced public funding for higher education at the state level is leading to drastic budget cuts.

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported in December 2020 a decline in enrollment of students at postsecondary institutions of 2.5% compared with fall 2019, driven largely by sharp drops in enrollment of undergraduate freshmen at public two-year institutions.

Between February 2020 to November 2020, employees at colleges and universities in the US declined by more than 188,000, not including affected workers employed by contractors.

Graduate workers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) are currently awaiting hearings before the state public employees labor relations board at the end of March 2021 in regards to the school administration attempting to use a rule passed by the board under the Trump administration, which declared graduate workers are not workers; therefore they do not have the right to organize unions.

The move comes after the University of New Mexico provost asserted the university recognized the rights of graduate students to organize in October 2020.

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