Jeff Erickson said recently that he wanted to consider hiring me as an RA for next year. The interesting reason is why: he recently received a grant for $200,000, and it was money that came from a program put in place by the stimulus package, so in order to keep the money he has to show that he is creating jobs. I haven't decided yet whether to take that offer or whether to work on a different project (after all, I still have about 1.5 semesters left on my fellowship to decide).
However, maybe that's a good thing: the graduate student employees' union is considering going on strike, because they have been without a contract for over 10 weeks and they claim they are not being paid a living wage. I guess that makes me non-union "scab" labor.
Bonus Question: What is wrong with this analysis of the teaching assistant pay situation?