Boston University, three weeks into dealing with an ongoing graduate student worker strike, saw Residence Life workers join the walkout Friday.

In a news release, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509 said it represents about 300 of these BU employees, who include resident assistants, graduate resident assistants and graduate hall assistants. The same SEIU local includes the Boston University Graduate Workers Union, which represents around 3,000 grad workers.

“As they join forces with graduate workers on strike, our union’s message is clear: We demand respect, fair treatment and dignity in the workplace for all workers at BU,” union president David Foley said in the release.

The grad workers went on strike March 25. Unlike that indefinite walkout, the union says the Residence Life strike is set to last four days.

The Residence Life workers’ current compensation is their housing, the union says. Now they’re demanding $15 an hour and expanded meal plans. Jasmine A. Richardson, an RA, said in the release that “housing as compensation does not acknowledge the critical role we fulfill around the clock at the university. Between unpaid training time and managing the high RA-to-student ratios, many of us are struggling to find financial and academic stability.”

The university emailed Inside Higher Ed a statement saying it’s “disappointed that the ResLife workers have decided to strike during bargaining their first contract.” Still, it said BU is “committed to the negotiation process and hope it will bring the strike to an end quickly.”

Ryan Quinn

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