Harvard Graduate Students Go On Strike

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Hundreds of Harvard University graduate student workers braved the cold and snowfall Tuesday morning to march through Harvard Yard on strike.

The grad students say Harvard refuses to provide them with fair pay, comprehensive health insurance, and protection from discrimination, sexual assault, and harassment.

Carrie Barbash, a clerical worker on strike, addressed the crowd.

"At some times, it feels like Harvard doesn't recognize that this needs to be a mutual relationship, where we the workers do our very best to take care of Harvard, and in return, Harvard does its very best to take care of us," she said.

Cambridge State Representative Marjorie Decker addressed the strikers.

"We are still in a #MeToo moment, and Harvard is negotiating a process that would empower victims of sexual harassment? This is unacceptable," she said.

Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted in support of the striking Harvard grad student workers.

Harvard has more than 4,000 graduate student workers who help the faculty teach and administer exams, as well as grade student papers. Nearly 2,500 of them voted to authorize a strike in October.

The Harvard Grad Student Union said on Monday they were striking with over 90 percent support.

The university said it is now reviewing a revised proposal from the union representing the student workers, adding that negotiations are ongoing.

WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin reports

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