If grad students unionize, what comes next? Labor strikes? Using union power for politics?
The Chicago Tribune reports:
University of Chicago grad students to hold union vote
A group of about 2,500 University of Chicago graduate students have been cleared to proceed with a union vote, a victory for organizers after a long hearing in which the university administration argued they are not employees.
The Chicago regional director for the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision late Tuesday that directed a union election for a large group of graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants in a half-dozen divisions and schools. They will vote Oct. 17 and 18 on whether to be represented by Graduate Students United, which is affiliated with Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors.
“It’s very exciting,” said Claudio Gonzales, 24, who is pursuing his doctorate in mathematics and is an organizer with Graduate Students United. “We believe that we are workers, and we want the right to bargain collectively.”
The University of Chicago said Wednesday evening it was reviewing the NLRB decision.
“The University of Chicago has a long-held commitment to graduate education, and we take seriously our mission to provide the mentorship and training that allow students to excel academically and become leading scholars,” Jeremy Manier, assistant vice president for communications, said in an email. “We do not believe a union would promote the academic values that are at the core of graduate education at the University of Chicago.”
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