SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island has withdrawn a proposal to charge graduate assistants who commute to campus a $100 parking fee.
About URI 25 graduate assistants rallied Tuesday afternoon to protest the annual fee.
The Providence Journal reports the protest followed a recent posting on URI’s website stating that graduate assistants who commuted to campus and were previously allowed to park for free would be charged $100 for a permit. Danielle Dirocco, executive director of Graduate Assistants United, which represents more than 500 unionized teaching, research and departmental assistants, says the union filed a grievance stating the fee violated their contract.
Dirocco says graduate students earn $15,844 for the academic year without dental and vision insurance, so any new fee is essentially a wage cut.