In a historic election on March 8, 2013, the Coalition of Graduate Employees was overwhelmingly chosen as the union representative for graduate research and teaching assistants not currently represented under the collective bargaining agreement. This election nearly doubles CGE’s current bargaining unit and significantly increases the power of graduate employees on campus!
The election was made possible by a January 4th decision by the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB). The ERB ruled in opposition to the objections posed by Oregon State University and declared that all graduate teaching and research assistants are public employees with the right to unionize! The ERB’s full decision protects the idea of dual student workers and is a pretty interesting. You can read the full decision at cge6069.org/erb.pdf.
This election is a tremendous victory for all of us! The immediate effect of this victory will be to enter into bargaining with OSU’s administration. We want to make sure that all 781 graduate employees coming into the bargaining unit are covered by the terms of the current CGE contract and to deal with needs that are unique to this group of new members. In the coming weeks, CGE will be sending out a bargaining survey that will inform the work of our bargaining team. Be sure to fill it out and have your voice heard in bargaining. If you are interested in becoming a member of the bargaining team, please contact our VP of Collective Bargaining and Grievances, Danny Ritter.
This is obviously a huge victory that was not achieved by a small handful of people. Hundreds of graduate employees made this happen. Whether you simply had a short conversation with your lab mate, kept yourself informed on the campaign, or volunteered your time–everyone made a difference in this campaign.
Thank you for all the contributions you made throughout the duration of this campaign!