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NMU graduate assistants demand full-time employee benefits

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:47 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Graduate assistants voiced their concern for not having full-time employee benefits during the pandemic during a Northern Michigan Board of Trustee meeting Friday.

They said they want health care, hazard pay and the option to teach virtually during the pandemic.

“By telling us to go to our friends for insurance, they are miscalculating our access to this economic privilege,” a graduate assistant said.

The trustees had mixed responses, some urging their colleagues to reflect on the comments made, but other commending the job of the university.

“No school, I believe in the country, has done a better job of protecting all parts of the Wildcat community,” NMU Board of Trustee member Steven Mitchell said.

President Fritz Erickson said there is a task force put in place to find a balanced to solve these issues, if possible.

Budgets improving throughout the pandemic, inclusion and low COVID-19 numbers were among other topics discussed in the meeting.

“Right now there are zero students in quarantine. It’s stunning how well this university has done it,” Mitchell said.

President Erickson also said that they were prepared for the pandemic and had the resources in order to keep the budget where it needed to be during the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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