On Friday April 2nd 2021, it was announced by President Daniels and Provost Kumar that the university will be directing $5 million towards aid for PhD students. This comes in the form of 100 travel and research grants at $5,000 – $12,000 a piece, and 200-300 dissertation completion awards that include some combination of stipend, tuition, and health insurance for a semester. More details can be found here.
Though this is a partial victory for the support we’ve been campaigning for over the last year, and ultimately is a result of all of your efforts, it falls far short of our demands. We need universal funding extensions now! Please read our official statement on Hopkins’ recent announcement here.
The Homewood Faculty Assembly (HFA) has passed a resolution in support of our demand for universal grad pay extensions! TRU members made our case on the floor of the meeting before the vote. The resolution specifically calls on admin to tap into the sizable reserves of the central university. You can read the full resolution text here. For more context about TRU’s organizing around grad pay extensions, check out this recent Op-Ed by Alex Parry.
On March 10, 2021 we came together for our first socially distant action since December’s Vehicle Caravan: the first (and hopefully last) annual “Covies Awards” Show! TRU’s awards-show-as-protest marked the one year anniversary of the university’s closure due to COVID-19 by recognizing the best and worst of Johns Hopkins’ response to the pandemic. Awards were presented in categories ranging from “most unsung hero” (category winner: the cleaning staff) to “Vaguest Promise of Support” (category winner: making it all department specific). Categories were crowdsourced by TRU members and winners selected in advance in an online poll. As TRU member Alexander Peebles said, “It seems the only way to get the administration’s attention is with rankings or awards. It was nice to share a laugh when Hopkins seems so intent on pushing us to despair with its negligence.” You can read more about the event in the JHU Newsletter.
Recently the university gave $500 end of the year “thank you” bonuses to all of its essential employees EXCEPT grad teachers and researchers. Our work is work worthy of recognition too! They did this despite TRU’s efforts to address worker safety and health concerns with the administration, and repeated asks for pay extensions to protect grad workers through the pandemic. So join us in sending a letter to President Ron Daniels, Provost Sunil Kumar, and Interim Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration Mary Miller, asking them to extend these bonuses to graduate workers and meet our union’s demands!