I. What our unionized peers have
a. Guaranteed childcare assistance
b. Coverage for dependents’ health insurance
II. What we want
a. Expanded pre-kindergarten childcare assistance
b. Expanded health insurance for dependents & children
PGSU wants to implement fair and realistic benefits for graduate workers with families to make family life at Princeton financially feasible. Princeton offers fairly generous childcare subsidies for families, but they are not commensurate with the cost of childcare in the region (the University’s new University-National Organization for Women Day Nursery charges tuition upwards of $25,000 a year). Furthermore, while the graduate worker’s health insurance is covered by the University, a spouse’s coverage costs $1,800 per year, a child’s costs $900 per year for up to three children, and there are no subsidies for dependents. An institution with Princeton’s vast financial resources should not leave any graduate students in financial precarity for any part of their degrees, especially not those with families to support.
What our unionized peers have
Guaranteed childcare assistance
New York University’s graduate student union established in its 2015 contract a union child care fund to make up for NYU’s lack of support. As of 2017, the fund has $70,000 available, with a projected $100,000 by 2020. The average award of this fund in 2015 was about $2,140 per child, a number expected to increase as more funding becomes available [Article XVIIIA].
Coverage for dependents’ health insurance
The graduate union contract at New York University, in addition to covering individual healthcare premiums, includes a family health care fund to subsidize the cost of enrolling dependents — on the third year of the contract (which is the 2018-2019 academic year), students will be eligible for an up to 75% subsidy toward the cost of premiums (depending on the number of total enrollees) [Article XVIII].
What we want
Expanded pre-kindergarten childcare assistance
Expanded health insurance for dependents & children
In contrast, Michigan’s benefits are locked into their contract: students there do not pay any additional premiums for dependents. NYU’s graduate student union, in addition to winning individual healthcare coverage in its 2015 contract, also negotiated a system in which students with dependents receive generous subsidies to cover healthcare premiums. PGSU will push for health insurance plans that better cover dependents and children without putting an excessive financial burden on graduate workers.
See also PGSU’s stance on Healthcare.
Like what you see? Think something’s missing? Let us know at AskPGSU@gmail.com