Penn State Graduate Students Elect Not To Unionize
Penn State graduate students on assistantships and traineeships have voted not to unionize after preliminary election results were announced Tuesday.
1,438 of the 3,800 eligible graduate students voted “No” in response to possible unionization, while 950 voted “Yes.”
The Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE), which started its campaign to unionize in January of 2017, attempted to join more than 30 public and private universities with graduate student unions.
“We are disappointed about the outcome,” said Jerome Clarke, co-president of CGE. “We’ve been working toward a union for years and our conversations with folks indicated to us that graduate assistants wanted a union. Unfortunately, the Graduate School’s outrageous anti-union campaign bullied and scared graduate assistants, contributing to a vote against union representation.”
The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) initially ruled back in February that the students have union rights under the Pennsylvania Employee Relations Act.
In the months before mid-April’s elections, the university and CGE tussled back and forth over whether unionization is the right decision.
Penn State administrators stated the university’s perspective was that it viewed its graduate assistants as students instead of employees and that unions represent mass interest instead of protecting individuals.
“The Graduate School is pleased that many graduate students made their voices heard by voting in the election,” the university released in a statement.
“The Graduate School will continue to address areas of concern to graduate students through direct interaction and through regular coordination with the Graduate and Professional Students Association, which represents the interests of graduate and professional students throughout the University, including representation on Graduate Council, the Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees.”
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In an attempt to recapture the magic of Happy Valley, one of our staffers set out to recreate her daily routine at Penn State from the comfort of her home.
Despite their inability to access Penn State’s professional-quality facilities at Innovation Park, the 18 students currently running the Centre County Report are making the most of their time at home by gaining valuable journalistic experience.
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