I remember MIT held that grad student stipends were not taxable. I guess we weren't considered employees.
As you all know, I belong to a teacher's union (mandatory) -- actually two -- as I am an adjunct faculty member for a few different institutions of higher learning.
I just received an email requesting my presence at a demonstration to be held by graduate student employees at another institution (not all that closeby I might add).
I don't think this kind of stuff passes the smell test. If the grad student employees at University X want to strike or stage a protest that is their right. And if the faculty or other employees of that university want to support them, go for it! But I don't know anything about University X so to add my voice to their protest would be meaningless. I wonder how many other faculty are considering adding their voice. Further distancing the issue from anything relevant to my union membership and standing is the fact that the issue at hand at UX is whether or not the union has any standing for this type of employee there. The NLRB ruled it doesn't. The union seems to feel that my support is needed for UX to acknowledge it anyway despite the ruling, because (surprise, surprise) the union claims that the NLRB ruled wrongly.
How this impacts my situation is beyond me. My institution lobbied hard to prevent unionizing of the faculty some years back, but accepted the union once the faculty voted for it. I've never heard a peep from the Administration since against the union or challenging its rights to negotiate contracts. Meanwhile, as far as the union business that DOES effect me, I was told to call the organizer for times and locations of future bargaining sessions if I'm interested in attending. Hmmm... shouldn't THAT be my unsolicited email from the union, not merely a footnote (requiring action on my part) in this email that has absolutely nothing to do with me, my institution, my fellow faculty members, or even faculty members elsewhere to whom my only connection is membership in the same union?