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Graduate Students Seek Better Pay

Graduate students in the US and Canada are pushing for better wages or stipends, Science Careers reports.

It adds, for instance, that graduate teaching assistants at the University of Illinois, Chicago went on strike just before final exams after negotiations between the union and university had dragged on for a year. According to Science Careers, the TAs won a 16 percent raise is to bring their guaranteed minimum stipend to $24,000. It further notes that graduate students at the University of California have staged protests and that researchers and scientific societies in Canada have called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase the awards provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

At the same time, Science Careers reports that some universities are making changes on their own—Princeton University, it says, is raising the stipend for natural sciences and engineering PhD students to $40,000 a year.

However some PhD students tells it that these efforts may not be enough. "I'm happy that we are getting a raise," Arita Acharya, a Yale PhD student, tells Science Careers. But she also notes that "my living expenses … have all gone up way more than what our salaries are going up by now."

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