Transforming Higher Education

Movement Milestones and Victories

We’re working to improve learning and teaching conditions and access to higher education, while standing up to end the trend toward a low-road, corporate-business model for education. More than 50,000 faculty and graduate workers are already united through SEIU Faculty Forward. Every day more educators, students and community members across the country are joining our fight to transform higher education. Here’s a look at what we’ve accomplished together so far.

Emory graduate workers win $15

Just as Amazon announced that it would raise wages to a $15/hr minimum for all of its employees, Emory University announced that it would also be raising wages for graduate workers to $31,000 a year — the equivalent of $15 an hour for year-round, full-time work. The announcement of up to a 29% wage increase is the result of a national 2-year, high-profile national campaign by graduate workers demanding $15 an hour for all campus employees. Over this period they have rallied outside administrative offices, organized public support from undergraduate students and tenured faculty allies, and showed up at board meetings to make their demands heard.

The announcement also came just as graduate workers and faculty planned to join striking fast food and airport workers to demand elected officials support their demands for a union voice. Below is a statement from an Emory graduate worker with SEIU EmoryUnite!, Isaac Horwedel.

"We are very excited Emory University has responded to our demands for a living wage for its graduate workers. This pay increase will mean the difference between making rent or not for me and many of my fellow workers, and is a step in the right direction toward improving working conditions on campus. We hope that Emory University will work with us to expand living wages to all campus employees."