Tag: Higher Education

Senator Bernie Sanders weighs in for graduate workers as they rally across the country

Senator Bernie Sanders sent letters to the presidents of Harvard, Columbia and Boston College today as graduate workers rallied across the country: “To my mind, it would be a huge mistake to attempt to roll back these workers’ right to organize.” Boston, MA – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent letters to the presidents of three major universities today asking them to “support the legal rights of research and teaching assistants to form unions and bargain in good faith with them.” Graduate workers across the country rallied today to protest managers at these universities and others who have embraced the Trump ... Read more

Boston College Graduate Workers Win Their Union, Join UAW

Vote is the latest in a string of academic organizing victories as movement for grad worker unionization grows Boston, MA – Graduate workers at Boston College have voted 270  in favor to 224 to join the United Auto Workers (UAW), according to ballots tallied Wednesday night by the National Labor Relations Board. Their victory caps a three-year effort to win recognition and required them to overcome a hostile employer, who sent out last-minute emails via campus Deans urging a no vote. With this vote, more than 10,000 academic workers have opted to become part of the UAW in the Northeast ... Read more

National Academies Face Growing Criticism for Appointing Columbia President to Chair Committee on Voting

Major pro-democracy activists join those questioning appointment while Bollinger refuses to respect results of overwhelming democratic unionization vote on his own campus New York City – A broad coalition of pro-Democracy activists sent a letter today to the National Academies’ Future of Voting committee expressing serious concerns over the appointment of Columbia President Lee Bollinger to serve as co-chair. The letter, which can be read in full here, points out that Bollinger has a record of undemocratic practices on his own campus, particularly his ongoing refusal to honor the results of an overwhelming 72 percent vote in favor of unionization by ... Read more

NLRB Says Boston College Grad Workers are Employees, Moves Union Election Forward

The Boston College Graduate Employees Union – United Auto Workers (BCGEU-UAW) celebrated the National Labor Relations Board’s decision declaring the graduate workers at Boston College are considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act, and moving the process forward toward an election. The Board rejected the university’s arguments that its employees were exempt from the Act due to Boston College’s religious mission, and recognized the fundamental similarity between the work graduate employees do at B.C. and at other private universities such as Columbia University, whose landmark case restored rights for graduate employees to unionize in 2016. “We are thrilled about ... Read more

Harvard Student Workers Win New Union Election

After weeks of hearings and deliberations, the NLRB in a report filed Wednesday affirmed that the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW’s concerns over Harvard’s list of eligible voters was valid and could lead to another election. In the report and recommendations of the NLRB hearing officer the NLRB wrote: “I find that the Employer has not substantially complied with the voter list requirements set forth in Section 102.62(d) of the Board’s Rules and Regulations. Accordingly, I recommend that [HGSU-UAW’s] objection be sustained and that, if a revised tally of ballots does not result in the Petitioner receiving a majority of the ... Read more

NLRB Upholds Columbia Graduate Workers’ Overwhelming Vote for Union

Columbia Graduate Workers Call on Administration to Respect Democratic Vote and Join Efforts to Strengthen University   NEW YORK – Columbia University research assistants and teaching assistants – whose landmark case restored union rights for graduate workers nationwide – are calling on university administrators to join them at the table and begin their important work to bargain a strong contract that prioritizes a fair, safe and respectful working environment. Today, the National Labor Relations Board’s Brooklyn office upheld graduate workers’ election in December to choose Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers (GWC-UAW) as their union. In her ruling, Hearing Officer ... Read more

Members of Congress Call for Fair and Free Elections, Champion TAs’ and RAs’ Right to Collective Bargaining

Community Petition Urging University Administrators to End Their Anti-Union Campaign Gains Momentum  NEW YORK – As support for graduate workers’ right to collective bargaining builds nationwide, more than 60 members of Congress today issued a statement urging Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and other university administrators in support of fair and free union elections. U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott and Jerrold Nadler along with dozens of other congressional leaders applauded the National Labor Relations Board’s recent decision to restore the rights of teaching assistants and research assistants to bargain collectively. “Collective bargaining between university administrators and the representatives chosen by TAs ... Read more

Grad Workers Talk NLRB Ruling on Brian Lehrer Show

In August, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate workers at private institutions have the right to unionize. The highly anticipated ruling was a victory, won with UAW support, for graduate workers at Columbia University and The New School, restoring union rights for teaching and research assistants there. Workers are hoping the ruling will prompt higher education unions to be established at universities throughout the country. Now, the graduate workers are calling on universities to respect their restored right to fair, democratic elections. Shortly after the NLRB announcement, UAW Region 9A Director Julie Kushner and Columbia University graduate worker ... Read more

UAW Statement on Higher Education

Overview Our country’s higher education system, vocational training and workplace apprenticeship programs prepare us for the jobs of tomorrow. In a global market, American workers must continue to lead the way in productivity, service and quality. Advanced technology jobs, whether they are in manufacturing, health care, government or any other UAW sector, require advanced knowledge and training. By 2020, nearly two-thirds of all jobs will require at least some higher education, up from 59 percent in 2007. However, based on current trends, our educational system will not keep pace with rising demands for educated workers and by 2020, we will ... Read more

Columbia Graduate Workers Win Parental Leave, Childcare Subsidies, Other Changes from Administration

Graduate workers, who have been organizing for the past year, welcome recognition of needed changes from the Provost, Dean of Engineering NEW YORK – In a rare email to Ph.D. candidates, Columbia University Provost John H. Coatsworth announced a number of changes to improve workplace benefits for many graduate workers.  The announcement – which includes parental leave, childcare subsidies and changes in fees – comes as graduate workers have been joining together to fight for respect and their rights as Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW (GWC-UAW). The announcement answers calls for change the group has been raising and builds on previous ... Read more