Graduate student employees at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are on strike, demanding better pay and benefits. The students, who work as teaching assistants and research assistants, say they cannot afford to live on their current wages.
The protesters are seeking a livable wage of $38,500 a year. They say this amount is necessary for them to pay rent, buy food, and cover other basic expenses.
"We are not asking for anything outrageous," said Jane Smith (pseudonym), one of the striking graduate students. "We just want to make enough money to live."
The university has responded by saying it values its graduate student workers but cannot meet their demands without risking financial instability. The university also stated that they have offered a 2% increase in stipends over two years along with increased health care benefits.
Despite the university's response, the protesting students remain firm in their resolve.
"We will not back down until our demands are met," said John Doe (pseudonym), another striking graduate student. "We deserve fair compensation for our hard work."
As of now, it is unclear how long the strike will continue or what actions the university may take in response to it. However, both sides seem committed to finding a resolution that meets everyone's needs while ensuring academic continuity for undergraduate students during this ongoing pandemic crisis.
This story is still developing; more details will be provided as they become available.