We are voting YES for equitable policies!

For equitable policies

Hundreds of grad workers are voting YES!

Our campaign for equitable policies is a campaign for clearly defined work rules in labs and classrooms that allow us to pursue our research and teaching with protections from overwork, harassment, bias, and without unwarranted or bureaucratic interruptions.

We know that equitable policies are winnable. The University of Michigan graduate employees have had a union contract for over thirty years which shows the benefits we could bargain for at UChicago.

UMichigan’s union contract provides:

  • Protections against over-work in instruction including course preparation (Section F)
  • Protections against discrimination and sexual harassment (Section G)
  • The right to take paid leaves of absences for:
    • Medical conditions 
    • Parental leave for birth or adoption of a child
    • Immigration proceedings
    • Bereavement
    • Jury duty
  • The right to have reasonable notice of work related meetings and protections against meetings called after 1am.  (Article XXI, Section I)
  • Hiring procedures that are free from bias and require advance notification for appointment of instructors. (Section C)
  • Fair procedures for posting jobs and hiring positions. (Article IX)
  • A grievance procedure ending in third-party impartial arbitration to ensure the contract is enforced. (Article IV)
  • Dental and Vision Insurance (Article XI)

Of course, our union contract will differ in important ways from that of UMichigan. It will be ours. It will fit our needs and concerns unique to graduate employees here. After we win our union election, the University of Chicago is required by law to negotiate with us in good faith. We will elect a bargaining committee of graduate researchers and instructors from UChicago. They will survey departments across campus and, in collaboration with experienced negotiators from our national union UE, they will develop proposals and negotiate with the Administration. We will take these needs and develop them into our bargaining proposals for equitable policies.
As graduate workers, we are fighting for equitable policies because we love our work and need our rights related to work enshrined in a legally enforceable contract. We need the right to work as much as we want but also the right to refuse unreasonable requests, limit responsibilities that detract from our own research and academic progress, and seek protection from harmful and discriminatory workplace conditions. Our union will fight to let us succeed in our core mission – that is, to become excellent researchers and instructors.

Pledge to Vote Yes in the upcoming election today to ensure that we have these basic benefits. By pledging to vote yes, we show that we are united to make graduate education at the University of Chicago equitable and accessible. 

“I started grad school at University of Michigan so my first couple years as a grad student I was actually at a school that has had a grad union for years. At the time I kind of took the union for granted. That actually changed when I got to UChicago because I had to go get a few medical tests done. These were tests that I’d had done at Michigan and I’d never had to pay for them out of pocket so I was really surprised when a few weeks after getting the same tests done at UChicago I was charged hundreds of dollars. I then learned that the reason they had been covered at Michigan was because the union had negotiated for better healthcare over the years. That’s why I am voting Yes for GSU-UE!”

Maya Mallaby-Kay, 

PhD Student in Astronomny and Astrophysics

Election Information

Here’s all the information you need to cast a vote for UNION YES at the polls:
When: Tuesday January 31 and Wednesday February 2, 10am-2pm & 4-8pm
Humanities, Divinity, and Crown: Regenstein 122A
Biological Sciences and Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering: Eckhart (ERC) 102
Physical Sciences: GRAD HQ, 3rd floor above the UChicago bookstore
Social Sciences, Harris, and Booth: Ida Noyes Cloister Club
You are eligible if you are a UChicago graduate student (Masters or PhD) and have performed research or instructional work for the university over the last year, from Spring ‘22 to Winter ‘23. If you are not sure if you are eligible, you should still plan to vote! Reach out to a Department Organizer to confirm your eligibility.
But that’s not all! We also need your help to make sure that every single graduate worker who plans to vote yes comes out to the polls. Join us in getting out the vote by:
Talking to your coworkers about why you are voting yes and sharing the vote yes pledge with them. The pledge allows us to show the broad and strong support for the union across UChicago graduate workers. Volunteering to GOTV – we’re looking for vote captains for work areas, people to do building walkthroughs, text bankers, and more! No need for any prior organizing experience – we’ll give you any training needed.  Showing your support on social media! Change your profile picture to this Vote Yes graphic and share a post about why you’re voting yes and/or why you encourage others to vote yes! (For example: “I’m voting YES GSU for a union for graduate workers because we need a living wage, safe working conditions, and we also need our teeth!”)

In solidarity,

Graduate Students United