Emory Raises Grad Student Pay to $15/hour, Duke Is Next

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[Duke University, October 5, 2018] Workers are demanding $15 an hour. And they’re getting it.


On the same day that Amazon workers won $15 an hour, wages for Emory’s graduate workers rose to $31,000/year, the equivalent to $15 per hour for full-time work. Graduate workers at Duke are demanding the same amount.


This victory comes on the heels of more than two years of organizing by Emory’s graduate workers for a living wage, and means next year graduate workers will receive pay increases of up to 29 percent. It’s a huge victory for SEIU-EmoryUnite!, the graduate student worker organizing campaign, and the Fight for $15, which has been helping workers win wage increases in higher education, fast food and other industries.


Duke could be next. Graduate workers at Duke have been organizing for over a year to increase graduate pay to $31,200, the equivalent of $15 per hour, and to eliminate gaps in pay schedules. They say they’re excited about Emory’s victory, and are calling on Duke to follow suit.


“What an amazing win for the folks at Emory -- everyone here is so proud of them,” said Casey Williams, a PhD student at Duke. “This shows that Duke can raise the wage for grad students here, and that, frankly, they’ll have to if they want to stay competitive with schools like Emory and attract top research and teaching talent.”


While Duke says Durham’s annual cost of living is $25,000, many graduate students have to live on the $23,370 because they don’t receive pay during the summer, despite working year-round.


SEIU-Duke Graduate Students Union has been meeting with administrators about increasing pay, and is planning on handing them a petition with more than 600 signatures calling for Duke to follow Emory’s



For more information, contact Hannah Rogers (hannahleerogers@gmail.com) or Casey Williams (caseywiliams41@gmail.com, 404-783-6143).




The Duke Graduate Students Union is made up of graduate workers from across the university committed to improving the working conditions of all graduate students. We're an affiliate of SIEU Workers United, Local 27, and we stand in solidarity with workers across North Carolina, the South, and the nation