Months after Harvard's graduate students voted to unionize for the first time in the school's almost four centuries of existence, unions at peer institutions around the nation have begun to win both elections and bargaining rights.
Negotiators for Harvard’s graduate student union are asking the union’s 5,000-plus members to sign a petition calling on administrators to schedule more half-day bargaining sessions.
The committee wrote in an email that their first two bargaining sessions have been marked by forceful pushback from Harvard administrators.
Members of the union’s organizing committee voted to form the group to advocate for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
Neither Harvard nor the newly-formed graduate student union have filed objections over the April 2018 unionization election within the seven-day period set by the National Labor Relations Board.
Students who voted “Yes” to unionization were two-and-a-half times more likely to disapprove of how Harvard handles issues of discrimination and sexual harassment than were students who voted “No,” according to an exit poll.
Polling: Pro-Union Voters More Likely to Report Dissatisfaction with Harvard Advising, Financial Support
Students who voted in favor of unionization last week were more likely to report feeling dissatisfied with Harvard’s advising and financial support systems, according to exit polling data collected by The Crimson.
The campaign to form a graduate student union at Harvard stretches back to 2013—for many organizers, spanning their entire tenure at the University.
A Harvard representative repeatedly declined to answer a question asking whether the University will begin to collectively bargain with student employees following a vote by eligible teaching and research assistants to unionize last week.
Experts say Harvard research and teaching assistants' vote to unionize last week was unique in its scale and drew on a decades-long push to form graduate student unions.
Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences students were much more likely to vote to unionize in Harvard’s election last week than were Sciences and Engineering and Applied Sciences students.