Saturday, April 21, 2018

Harvard Teaching Assistants Vote to Have Union; Historic Vote Lets 5K Students Bargain with Univ.

In a historic move, Harvard University teaching and research assistants have voted to form a union, The Crimson website reports today (April 21, 2018).

The results of a unionization election held April 18 and 19 showed 1,931 ballots cast in favor and 1,523 against, per ballot tallying conducted yesterday at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building in Boston.

This vote means about 5,000 eligible students can now begin to collectively bargain with the university as members of Harvard Graduate Students Union--United Auto Workers.

The installation of a student union is unprecedented in Harvard history -- and the result reverses the outcome of the university's previous November 2016 unionization election, which showed more votes against unionization than in favor. The failure of Harvard -- the oldest university in the U.S. --  to pay its teaching assistants a suitable wage for living in today's society can be viewed as the main reason for the approval of the union.

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