This past week, graduate student workers at UVA successfully organized a coalition of ourselves, other UVA employees, undergraduate students, and alumni to call on UVA executive administration to #CutTheChecks. That effort sparked coverage from CBS, The Richmond Times Dispatch, and NBC, among other venues. The next step is for UVA executive administration to send a special representative to meet with us at the SFS office, Monday morning at 10am. They need to hear how this act of negligence affected graduate student workers, and share how they’ll follow through on commitments to change.
Graduate student workers are not the only ones who benefit from a UVA that functions smoothly and pays out stipends on time. Students benefit from educators who come back from break feeling secure and rested. Family members and roommates of graduate student workers benefit from knowing rent will be paid. Small businesses in Charlottesville benefit from graduate students with the resources to patronize them. All of us benefit from Virginia having world-class education institutions that people of any economic background can attend. That’s only possible when prospective students feel secure they will be compensated properly, and on time.
We know that collective action is the primary catalyst for winning solutions that benefit everybody. As an organization we’re interested in continuing collective action in the workplace and bringing it to our state legislature. We deserve a voice in our workplace, in our city, and in our state. We deserve Virginia elected representatives who will have our back. With that in mind, UVA Chapter Chair Laura Ornee has sent the below letters to Del. Sally Hudson and Sen. Creigh Deeds. UVA’s executive administration often lobbies the General Assembly. Our representatives have an opportunity to demand our fair treatment in return. See the letters below, or read them here.
The UCW-UVA Graduate Worker Organizing Committee