URI withdraws graduate assistant parking fee

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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island has withdrawn a proposal to charge graduate assistants who commute to campus a $100 parking fee.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.

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