The University is one of a dozen schools to host graduate student unionization votes since an NLRB decision August before last reopened the possibility. Several of these universities have continued legal challenges and refused to bargain after successful union votes. The University had filed to block this week’s vote, in part because a new Trump-era majority on the NLRB might again move to block graduate student unionization.
Graduate Students United tweeted, “We have a union. And we have a room full of joyously crying @UChicago grad workers. #YESGSU”
A pro-unionization graduate student described how she viewed the stakes: “A lot of us are living in almost poverty conditions; we’re really overworked, the school’s not very supportive—it’s been great to have this group of grad students coming together.”
The administration argued for months that a union would not be in the best interests of graduate students. An e-mailfrom Executive Vice Provost David Nirenberg on Sunday cautioned that unionization would introduce a “third party” that could interfere with graduate students’ relationships with the University.