To: Members of the University Community
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Graduate Student Unionization Election Results
Date: March 17, 2023
Yesterday the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) counted the votes that were cast in the recent election to determine whether Graduate Students United - United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (GSU-UE) would become the certified bargaining agent for certain graduate students engaged in teaching and research activities at the University of Chicago.
Of the 9,904 graduate students at the University, 3,287 were eligible to vote based on their current or recent appointments under the election petition filed by GSU-UE. Of these, 1,696 students voted in favor of unionization and 155 students voted against unionization. Based on this result, the NLRB is expected to certify GSU-UE as the exclusive representative for the purposes of collective bargaining for eligible UChicago graduate students.
I am thankful to everyone who engaged in this process, especially the students who voted, whether they voted for or against unionization. I congratulate GSU-UE on their successful advocacy in this process. The University will bargain in good faith with GSU-UE with the goal of supporting the continued academic success of all graduate students. Progress on contract negotiations will be shared on an ongoing basis.
Almost every graduate student at the University could potentially be represented by GSU-UE at some point during their academic career. I encourage them to continue learning about and engaging with GSU-UE to make sure their voices are heard and represented during the bargaining process.
Our University is founded on the principles of free expression and open discourse. Many conversations about graduate student unionization were held across campus during the past several months. I am grateful to our campus community for engaging in this process in a constructive and respectful manner. Thank you for your continued commitment to graduate education at the University.