Graduate school can be a difficult place to bear or raise a child. Formal support for student parents remains limited, and informal norms in our departments often penalize those who are caring for kids. This is a problem, as student parents often find themselves going further into debt, struggling to make ends meet and to juggle their various responsibilities. The lack of support for student parents also exacerbates gender hierarchies in the University, as women continue to bear more responsibility for childcare and domestic work.
As part of our current contract campaign, the UC Student-Workers union is organizing to pressure University administrators into providing more adequate support for student parents across the UCs.
During contract negotiations in 2007, the union negotiated for childcare subsidies for student workers who were caring for children under six years of age. We are organizing in this round of bargaining to increase the subsidies and to make sure that parents with school-age children can also receive childcare support. To find out more about the childcare subsidy, see here.
We are also organizing to get University management to agree to cover the cost of dependent healthcare. Student parents living on salaries that qualify as “very low-income” should not be asked to pay thousands of dollars per year to ensure that our family members have health insurance.
To help build the campaign for adequate childcare and healthcare support, you can talk to a union steward or sign the petition.