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AAA Stands for Fair Graduate Labor and Standards
Graduate research and teaching assistants are essential to the future of anthropology, contributing substantively to research projects, educating and inspiring future generations of anthropologists, and, in many departments, providing vital administrative support that advances our field’s research, teaching, and service activities.
Investing in educators and researchers at all levels strengthens higher education at a moment when such investments are sorely needed. At stake are matters of quality and equity, assuring that well-qualified graduate students are able to achieve financial stability while completing their training. Allocating university resources in a way that excludes all but the most privileged students damages the future of higher education and erodes the public trust on which it is based.
The AAA is committed to supporting fair labor practices and standards in employment throughout the world, and we also support the right to labor organization and unionization in pursuit of these goals. The Association has spoken out on behalf of adjunct and contingent faculty in the past, and now calls attention to its support for graduate employees on university campuses everywhere who are seeking to establish fair employment standards, including equitable access to healthcare, living wages, affordable tuition and tuition waivers, and support for student-employees from diverse backgrounds. When administrators’ salaries are rising but wages for graduate employees are frozen or declining, graduate employees can and should come together to expect fair treatment.