Two state Senate committees are set to hear a bill Thursday that would establish a collective bargaining unit for graduate student assistants working at the University of Hawaii.

Senate Bill 2398 is authored by Sen. Brian Taniguchi, who chairs the Higher Education and the Arts committee — one of the panels hearing the bill.

As a recent article in The Atlantic explains, “With the cost of advanced degrees on the rise, master’s and Ph.D. candidates who work for their universities are organizing for better compensation.”

University of Hawaii at Manoa, Varney Circle. 2 sept 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

University of Hawaii at Manoa, Varney Circle.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii, of course, is a state with high union membership.

A companion bill in grad student organization is making its way through the Hawaii House of Representatives.

It’s authored by Rep. Isaac Choy, the Democrat who chairs House Higher Education — the same committee that will hear the measure Tuesday.

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