Many of you have reached out to the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) to learn more about what is happening with graduate student unionization efforts here at Yale. As many of you may remember, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in August 2016 that graduate students can be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and thus have the right to unionize. Local 33, the proposed union for graduate students, filed in the fall to hold individual elections in ten departments. Yesterday, the regional National Labor Relations Board Director ruled that the nine departments (one petition has since been retracted) petitioning to hold individual elections for unionization can proceed.
As your democratically elected government, the GSA sees one of its roles in this matter as that of disseminating information to students. Our new podcast episode, “Inside the Hearings,” (http://gsa.yale.edu/podcast) neutrally explores the arguments put forth by both Local 33 and Yale as to whether the elections should proceed as petitioned. You may recall that the GSA voted on resolutions this past fall to remain neutral towards unionization in general, but to oppose efforts by Local 33 and to oppose the department-by-department approach. These resolutions were motivated by a desire to advocate on behalf of all students across the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Our most recent podcast does not serve to advance this stance, and instead is meant to serve as a source of information for all students.
The GSA will, however, continue to advocate strongly on behalf of all students as we navigate our time as graduate students together as one community. As such, the GSA is collecting information on what is confusing to graduate students at Yale regarding the unionization effort by Local 33. Please submit any questions or concerns via this link: http://tinyurl.com/jdyybaw.