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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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New Union Advocates for Students, Staff and Faculty in Higher Education

The United Workers of Utah, a union consisting of U and USU workers, make demands for better pay and treatment within higher education.
New+Union+Advocates+for+Students%2C+Staff+and+Faculty+in+Higher+Education

 

University of Utah and Utah State University workers announced a new union on Monday, intended to protect graduate students, undergraduate workers, staff and faculty amidst concerns about the increasing cost of living and recent legislation as “attacks on public employees.” 

According to the press release, The United Campus Workers of Utah consists of hundreds of staff, students, and faculty within higher education at the U, USU and institutions throughout the state “who want an independent voice to advocate for ourselves [workers] and our students.”

“We believe our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions, and will fight for substantial changes to ensure their future success,” the press release read.

UCWU made the following demands: 

  1. “Fair and transparent wages that reflect the high cost of living along the Wasatch Front and are commensurate with peer institutions.”
  2. “Improved healthcare and parking benefits for all employees.”
  3. “Equitable and safe working conditions for all employees, and for the universities to address the widespread sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace.”
  4. “Immediate actions by the University to address our concerns.”

Specifically, they requested the implementation of core organizational practices, including more flexible schedules for employees rather than relying solely on wellness centers for employee and student well-being.

They also requested better living wages and shared the story of an adjunct professor working three jobs to make ends meet.

“I hold several advanced degrees but struggle to afford healthcare, rent and car payments,” the adjunct said in the press release. “It’s exhausting and demoralizing.”

The UCWU also demanded better health care coverage for graduate students, whose coverage is minimal, as well as their minimal stipends. One student shared they have avoided medical treatment for the past five years.

“Being sick is preferable to being homeless,” they said in the press release.

“Ultimately, we believe that advocating for academic workers is advocating for the next generation of college graduates,” the press release read. “We welcome all higher education employees across our beautiful state to join us.”

 

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@LibbeyHNews 

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About the Contributor
Libbey Hanson, News Writer
(she/her) Libbey is a second-year graduate student in the MPA program studying public policy and administration. She is most interested in environmental policy and social justice issues. You can usually find her in the mountains hiking and skiing or reading and writing at a local coffee shop.

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