Stand Up for Graduate Student Employees and the American Federation of Teachers notified the University of their intention to file an election petition for graduate student unionization, according to an Oct. 11 AFT press release. Following the terms of the pre-election agreement, SUGSE and AFT will file the petition at least 10 calendar days after the notice, and an election on unionization will be held within 15 business days of the filing.
The notice comes after SUGSE and AFT determined a “strong majority of the 1,250 graduate employees have indicated support” for a union, according to the press release. Graduate students who will be eligible to vote are doctoral or master’s students who have served as “teaching assistants, research assistants and/or proctors” during this semester or in any of the last two semesters, according to the Office of the Provost’s website.
Before any election, a forum on unionization issues may be held by the University. “Representatives of the Brown administration, SUGSE/AFT and the Graduate School Council” may be present at these forums, according to the pre-election agreement.
Locke affirmed support for “discussions among graduate students as they explore whether or not unionization is right for them,” in an email sent to the University community.
SUGSE is “fighting for a vision of the university where ‘shared governance’ actually means shared power, where transparency actually means accountability and accessibility, where teacher and researcher mean worker,” Hilary Rasch GS, a member of SUGSE, stated in the press release.