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Tufts Graduate Students Strike First Labor Contract Deal With University

Graduate students at Tufts University say they have reached their first labor deal with the Massachusetts school's administration.

A tentative contract announced Thursday provides raises from 12 to 19 percent over the next four years for graduate workers in Tufts' School of Arts and Sciences.

It also provides graduate workers with 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Peter MacKinnon, president of SEIU Local 509, the union representing Tufts students, says the parental leave benefit is "an unprecedented victory."

University spokesman Patrick Collins says Tufts is pleased by the agreement and values the contributions of graduate students.

The school joins a growing number of colleges where graduate workers have voted to unionize since federal officials began allowing it in 2016.

The private university of about 11,000 students is north of Boston.

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