Living Wages

Costs have grown. Our wages should too.

Johns Hopkins currently has the sixteenth largest endowment among U.S. universities, valued at $9.32 billion. Despite the common misconception that this endowment is restricted to only expenses specified by donors and cannot be used for raises, the Johns Hopkins endowment this includes $1.3 billion of unrestricted reserves, which are available to offset inflation and the rising cost of living. Further, over the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years,  JHU’s endowment grew by $3 billion and the University accumulated a $288 million budget surplus. Despite this, graduate stipends remain well below a living wage and the stipends of our colleagues at peer institutions.

The bottom line: Hopkins can afford to pay us more

Financial security makes us better students, teachers and researchers. Thus, inadequately compensating Ph.D. students is not just wrong, but it’s unsustainable. We should be able to afford a healthy work-life balance, emergency expenses, and to save for our futures. For slightly less than $26 million a year– less than 10% of the budget surplus accrued since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic– Hopkins could guarantee $40k stipends and six-years of funding for ALL Ph.D. students, regardless of school or department. 

With a union contract, we can finally ensure that all graduate workers receive the pay we deserve. It’s about time that Hopkins invests in us.