UW-Madison Grad student and union efforts

David Blaska:

The UW-Madison branch of Workers Strike Back met here late last month and plastered the campus with their signage. Their pitch is a “demand” for a yearly salary of $50,000.

These are graduate degree students who help their professors grade papers, lead classes, and work at the lab. UW-Madison’s 5,400 graduate research and teaching assistants already make between $21,115 and $28,388 a year. That doesn’t count the $12,000 we pay toward their graduate school tuition, and $7,500 worth of health insurance. Plus a free bus pass, on-campus parking, access to the university health clinic, child care, no heavy lifting, yadda yadda. 

You wanna make a college degree even more unaffordable, go for it! The Werkes thinks graduate students should suffer for their art. A teaching assistantship is not a career, it’s a rung on a ladder!

Workers Strike Back is Kshama Sawant

Ms. Sawant announced that “Workers Strike Back will be launched in early March in cities around the country.” Sawant offers the usual grab bag of grievances: “Fight racism, sexism & all oppression! Quality affordable housing & free healthcare for all! No more sellouts! We need a new party.” Oh, and “Free abortions!”

A rapacious and parasitic capitalist class has amassed untold fortunes off the labor of billions of workers. But their system is in deep crisis, and it cannot sustain itself. Capitalism needs to be overthrown. We need a socialist world.— Kshama Sawant