The Indiana University Graduate and Professional Student Government recently passed a resolution to affirm the rights of graduate workers currently engaging in a campaign to unionize grad workers at Indiana University, according to a press release from the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition. The IGWC has collected over 1000 signatures from graduate workers in favor of unionizing.
“Graduate workers are making five major demands to improve their working conditions: an end to mandatory and international fees, a cost of living adjustment and annual pay raises, improved benefits, an independent grievance procedure, and fairness for international students,” according to a press release sent to The Bloomingtonian.
Here is the text of the entire press release:
“GPSG PASSES RESOLUTION TO AFFIRM GRADUATE WORKER RIGHTS TO
Indiana University’s Graduate and Professional Student Government passed a resolution on Friday, November 5 titled, “Resolution to Affirm the Rights of Graduate Workers and Assure Employer Neutrality During a Union Organizing Campaign.” The resolution passed with a near unanimous vote, with 51 votes in favor and 2 abstentions.
The resolution enumerates the rights of graduate workers to self-organize and associate as a labor union. Indiana State labor and safety law is cited in the resolution, which grants workers the full freedoms of association, self-organization, and the appointment of representatives of their own choosing, among other things. University Policies HR 12-20 and ACA-32 are also cited in the resolution, which enumerate the conditions for cooperation between employee organizations and IU administration as well as protections of academic freedom, respectively.
With the passage of the resolution, the GPSG provides affirmation that graduate workers are acting within their rights by organizing a labor union and will not face reprisal from IU for doing so. While presenting the resolution, Cole Nelson, GSPG representative for the Media School, stated that “it is necessary that graduate workers are aware of these rights and protections in order to make an informed and educated decision about forming a union.”
Additionally, the resolution calls upon the University Administration to remain neutral with regard to unionization efforts. The resolution notes that IU Administration is an employer and a likely future facilitator of a union election process, and is asked “to refrain from any attempts to influence the outcome of union elections as a neutral arbiter, including attempts to provide ‘neutral information’ to graduate employees concerning unions and collective bargaining.”
The GPSG Executive Committee is also called upon in the resolution to act in their capacity to inform graduate workers of their rights to self-organization. The resolution states that the GPSG Executive Committee will “take the initiative to provide information pursuant to the free exercise of these rights by graduate and professional employees.”
The Resolution comes in the context of an ongoing unionization effort spearheaded by the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition (IGWC). The IGWC began the process of forming a labor union for graduate workers at IU earlier this year, and has presently amassed over 1000 signatures from graduate workers across the campus who have opted in favor of a union.
Graduate workers are making five major demands to improve their working conditions: an end to mandatory and international fees, a cost of living adjustment and annual pay raises, improved benefits, an independent grievance procedure, and fairness for international students.
For further questions and correspondence, contact Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition
media correspondent, Sam Smucker ([email protected]).