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Union Plans Protest at Yale Commencement

Union Plans Protest at Yale Commencement

A New Haven labor union representing Yale’s grad students plans to protest the school’s commencement ceremony, alleging that the college is purposefully stalling contract negotiations in hopes that Trump will appoint anti-union officials to the National Labor Relations Board.

The NLRB recently ruled that graduate students are employees, and thus able to organize. Yale had previously agreed to a deal with the union, Local 33, but have yet to hammer out specifics. The union is worried that the delay is a push for a better deal, so they’re relying on extreme measures. Critics fret that they’d disrupt a special day for graduating students.

Organized grad students are a good thing: while not as nakedly exploited as adjunct faculty, they work for institutions and deserve fair representation. And while the idea that “justice delayed is justice denied” usually operates on a longer timeline, it likely still applies. I’m not necessarily thrilled that graduating students will bear the brunt of this particular demonstration, but an interrupted graduation is better than years of predatory labor practices.

(Artwork of "Sex." Courtesy of Daniel Friedman.)

(Artwork of "Sex." Courtesy of Daniel Friedman.)

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About Stewart Finnegan

In a perfect world, I’d be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I’m just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I’d like to go back to academia.

Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I’ve used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I’d like to focus my work on what I’m really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it’s the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of High Faluter: I’m finding that academia doesn’t just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan


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