Two separated seas of gowns — one orange, one black — replaced cars on New Haven’s streets Monday, as Yale’s graduation collided with a climactic end to a protest fast by unionized graduate student teachers.
(Opinion) On Monday morning, I marched in the streets of New Haven with thousands of members of my union and our allies, calling for Yale to begin contract negotiations. Then I put my cap and gown on over my orange union t-shirt, and went to receive my PhD.
Members of UNITE HERE Local 33 and their supporters continued to show their mettle in the fight to have their new graduate student teachers union recognized by Yale University, as their encampment got some actual metal just in time for graduation.
While news headlines focus on the pitched struggle to resolve our fiscal crisis in Hartford, there is another important clash over the character of Connecticut taking place along the shoreline, at Yale University in New Haven.
by Markeshia Ricks & Lucy Gellman | May 11, 2017 12:35 pm | Comments (42)
The eight Yale graduate students sitting back-to-back in a circle at the intersection of Elm and York streets had a few options: They could do as the officers requested and get out of the street. They could stay and be ticketed. Or like some of their colleagues simultaneously blocking Church and Chapel and at College and Grove streets, they could be taken into custody.
After two weeks putting nothing more than water into their stomachs, three of the original eight graduate teachers still fasting to press Yale to negotiate with their union mustered the energy to ask their employer: How much longer?
State Rep. Josh Elliott had a question for the crowd of progressive activists: Would they rather see legislators stand their ground on a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and risk no movement on minimum wage should it fail? Or should legislators support a compromise bill to raise the wage incrementally to, say, $11.25?