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Virginia Tech students, staff forms unions amid fight for higher wages

“What do we need?” “Union Power!”

Two unions have emerged at Virginia Tech where grad students, faculty, and staff said they’re fighting to be protected from the school.

“A living wage. That’s what all of these people you see behind me are fighting for at Virginia Tech. And that’s why they’ve now formed two unions at the school.”

From groundbreaking research to teaching hundreds of undergrads, graduate students are often referred to as the lifeblood of universities.

A living wage report earlier released by the institution showed a discrepancy between the monthly stipend for grad students and the cost of living, which currently falls around $2,900 a month.

Grad students told 10 News they’re still not getting paid enough to get by, and now, they’re taking a stand.

After several years of work, two new unions were announced on campus Tuesday: The Virginia Tech Graduate Labor Union and United Campus Workers.

The two unions held a rally on Tuesday.

Grad student Prescott Vayda is hopeful that the rally encouraged more students and staff to join in.

“It’s a chance for us to share our stories as graduate students and faculty and staff, and to get the entire community here at Virginia Tech onboard and united to fight for what we deserve,” Vayda said.

Virginia Tech provided a statement, which reads:

These unions are just getting started, so in the coming months, they’ll hold elections for leadership positions, and outline their top priorities.

Source: WSLS News 10

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