What We're Fighting For
The Path toward Unionization
On August 25th, 2022, as a coalition of graduate student workers, EmoryUnite! announced that we would pursue official union recognition from Emory University. See our Dear Colleagues letter here.
We are currently in the first step of this process, which is what is called a card drive. This involves having a majority of our bargaining unit sign official union authorization cards indicating support of unionization. Once we have enough cards, we can file for an election from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). See below for an overview of the entire path forward.
Without a union or a contract, our working conditions are subject to change at a moment’s notice: compensation, required fees, health insurance costs for dependents, teaching and research requirements, discrimination and harassment policies, and grievance procedures continue to change without warning and with little transparency from the administration. Many of us have tried working within the existing channels at Emory, Laney, and within our departments, only to be ignored or met with insufficient responses.
With a union, we will gain a tangible way to protect the benefits we already have as graduate-student workers and the collective leverage needed to negotiate for fairer compensation, benefits, and policies in a binding contract.
We believe all full-time graduate-student workers at Emory should: 1) make a living wage, 2) be fairly compensated every time we work as teachers, researchers, mentors, instructors, and tutors, 3) be provided with comprehensive healthcare coverage for ourselves and our dependents, 4) have access to fair and comprehensive parental accommodations, and 5) have the protection of a union in situations involving discrimination, harassment, or any other kind of unfair treatment.
The present and future of Emory only stands to gain from a graduate-student worker union. Competitive pay and benefits will aid our departments and faculty in the recruitment process. The students we teach will have better classroom experiences when their teachers are treated fairly. The essential work of this institution will be improved by a union that grants us the support and dignity we deserve.