Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Reason #342 to have a Grad Student Union: Worker's Comp

If we didn't have enough things to worry about in grad school, let's take a moment to consider what happens to a typical grad student who is, say, severely injured in a chemistry lab explosion.

A graduate student...at Brown University wouldn't receive workers' compensation, according to officials at the school. Rhode Island's workers' compensation officials were less definite, however, telling me that it was a tricky matter that's decided on an individual basis.

But up the road at UMass, where they have a union...

under the terms of their employment contract, the university will continue to take care of an injured student's stipend and fee waivers for whichever is longer: the duration of his contract or as long as the injury keeps him from the bench, up to two years beyond his contract appointment.

And here at Yale? After a long period where students who had to take a medical leave of absence not only lost their pay, but also their health insurance, the university finally agreed, like last year or something, that a registered student would be able to keep their health insurance through the end of the semester. As for any workers' comp type of benefits, I don't think so.

Graduate students injured while doing laboratory research often face an uncertain fate


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