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SUNY’s Graduate Student Employees Union fighting for fees to be removed in budget

The State University of New York’s (SUNY) Graduate Student Employees Union, with 5,000 members, is advocating for a proposal to phase out substantial fees deducted from their yearly stipends. Graduate student teaching staff and assistants form the core instructional force at SUNY and City University of New York (CUNY) campuses, yet they are required to return 15-20% of their annual salaries to the university system.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The Senate has proposed $14 million in its one-house budget to cover fees for graduate students and attract more competitive candidates amid years of declining enrollment. The Assembly has suggested a compromise, proposing a gradual phase-out of fees for graduate student workers at a rate of $2.5 million per year. Governor Hochul did not include funding for this proposal in her executive budget proposal, prompting union members to push for one of the Legislature’s plans to be included in the final budget, which is now overdue.

Graduate workers have campaigned for over two years to eliminate the fees, urging the 2023-24 budget to include higher pay or an end to annual fees that cost students thousands of dollars and make it difficult for them to obtain an education and make ends meet.



Categories: New York StateNews