For immediate release
February 24, 2017
Yale Graduate Teachers Vote to Form Union
NEW HAVEN — Graduate teachers at Yale University voted to form a union Thursday, marking the latest in a wave of graduate employee union victories at private universities nationwide.
“This moment has been decades in the making,” said Local 33–UNITE HERE Chair Aaron Greenberg, a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department. “Tonight is a tremendous victory and an opportunity for all of us to come together and work to address the issues we face.”
Nine secret-ballot elections were administered by the National Labor Relations Board in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Literatures, English, Geology and Geophysics, History, History of Art, Math, Physics, Political Science, and Sociology.
Graduate teachers in the Departments of English, Geology and Geophysics, History, History of Art, Math, and Sociology voted in favor of forming a union, and graduate teachers in the Physics Department voted against forming a union.
Of the ballots counted Thursday evening, a majority of graduate teachers in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Political Science also voted in favor of forming a union. Some ballots cast in these two departments have not yet been counted, as these voters’ eligibility has yet to be resolved by the NLRB.
“At a moment in this country when both science and women’s rights are under attack, the fact that we’re going to have a union in Geology and Geophysics gives me hope about what’s possible,” said Local 33–UNITE HERE Co-Chair Robin Canavan, a PhD candidate in the Geology and Geophysics Department.
“After months of conversation, we finally got to vote to form a union and to look out for one another. Now it’s time for us to sit down at the negotiating table and bargain a contract that addresses the issues that matter to us,” said Local 33–UNITE HERE Secretary-Treasurer Camille Cole, a graduate teacher in the History Department.
Yale graduate teachers initially filed petitions with the NLRB on August 29, 2016, less than a week after the Board’s Columbia decision restored collective bargaining rights to graduate employees at private universities.