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From: Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University
To: Graduate Students, Faculty and Academic Appointees
Subject: Update on Graduate Student Unionization
Date: September 22, 2017
 
As we start the new academic year, I wanted to give you an update on the status of the election petition filed by the American Federation of Teachers and American Association of University Professors, which seek to form a union composed of approximately 2,200 graduate students in several academic divisions.
 
After an evidentiary hearing and submission of legal briefs in May and continuing into the summer, in August the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board ordered an election for October 17 and 18.
 
The University has serious concerns about the impact a union could have on the ability of the University and faculty to meet the individual needs of graduate students in diverse disciplines and circumstances. Those concerns prompted the University’s decision to pursue the NLRB appeals process, which unions and universities have used frequently in this context. We have asked the NLRB to review the Regional Director’s decision to order an election and, in the meantime, to issue a stay of the election pending this review. The NLRB is also currently considering requests for review from other universities. We will update you on any further developments in this process.
 
You can find the latest documents along with other resources on the NLRB process here. The University will continue to provide information and resources on these issues to help our community evaluate the potential impact of unionization on graduate education at UChicago.