Last semester, the Loyola administration’s intransigence in labor negotiations led this campus into a strike even as other universities like Fordham and the University of Chicago quickly negotiated fair contracts. Dean Regan’s letter to The Phoenix editor last week makes me concerned the Loyola administration is repeating that path with its graduate students. Loyola’s administration concurs with the National Labor Relations Board’s insistence that graduate students aren’t workers. I ask all faculty and administrators to engage in a thought experiment.
What would happen if the graduate students stopped working? That is, stopped grading, holding office hours, review sessions and running research labs? The answer is our university would grind to a halt.
Yes, these people are students, but they are most certainly workers too. We pride ourselves on our social justice mission, but seem unable to live up to our own principles when it comes to matters of labor. Our students barely make enough money to pay rent and purchase basic essentials. We can do better.
Robyn Mallett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology