Wages and Pay is the most frequently cited concern heard among graduate students at UA. Currently, the minimum rate of pay for graduate students at UAF $15.73/hour, this translates many students across the UA system making salaries beneath the poverty line for Alaska. Base graduate student rate of pay at UAF has not increased for 10+ years, far predating the current budgetary crisis. Go to our Fair Wages and Regular Pay Increases page for more details about this issue!

Healthcare is another of the most frequently discussed motivators for the unionization effort. Students frequently have trouble finding in-network care, especially if they are not in Anchorage, and there are many things that are simply not covered. Additionally, even when things seem like they should be covered based on the policy, students often need to jump through hoops to actually get them covered. Go to our Healthcare page for more details about issues with UA grad student health insurance coverage, including a comparison to other unionized schools and student’s healthcare stories.

Fees are not covered for many RAs and most TAs. Fee payment largely depends on the goodwill of the student’s advisor. This is hugely problematic for people as fees are due before we receive our first paycheck, oftentimes exceeding that paycheck. This is a particularly large burden for incoming students who have just paid for an expensive move to Alaska. Go to our Reduce the Fee Burden page for more details about this issue!

Rights and Working Conditions. Many of the issues we hear about fall into this category. The need for better grievance and reporting procedures for harassment, discrimination, academic appeals, and contract adherence is often cited as needing improvement in the UA system. This category also includes things like funding transparency, appointment lengths and duties, contract delays and pay gaps, TA training, workloads, and work environments. Issues with work environments include interpersonal issues, as well as problems with work facilities and support facilities (like showers). Visit this page for more details about how unionization can help improve our Rights and Working Conditions!

International Student Issues. International students face a unique set of issues including unclear rules, regulations, and rights. More info about how unionization can help is coming soon on our International Students page.