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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

More Grad Students Could Get Right To Strike

State Rep. Will Guzzardi midshot
Dusty Rhodes
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS
State Rep. Will Guzzardi

Graduate students who work as research assistants alongside university professors could win the right to go on strike. Current law excludes them from being counted as employees. But a proposal to change that (HB253?)   was approved by the Illinois House of Representatives last week.

Several Republican state representatives argued giving them that right would raise college costs. State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) argued the measure could eventually lead to higher tuition prices for undergraduates.


"This has the potential to raise the cost of doing business for these universities, because we're going to have these collective bargaining things, which generally raise costs," he said.

But Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), who is sponsoring the legislation, rejected that argument.

"Whether that then translates to a tuition increase or not, you guys are, it's a very attenuated stream of logic that winds up as this costs more to students," he said.

Graduate students who work as teachers assistants are classified as university employees, and already have the right to join a union.

No college or university has registered any opposition to the bill. A similar measure was approved by the General Assembly last year, but vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The bill now heads to the Senate.



After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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