Graduate employees at the University of Chicago (U of C) and Northwestern University (NU) are the latest to overwhelmingly demonstrate their desire to organize with the IFT and American Federation of Teachers. The recent votes are part of the growing national trend of graduate worker unionization.
Graduate Students United (GSU) members at U of C have been affiliated with the IFT/AFT and American Association of University Professors (AAUP) since 2011, but voted in October to proceed with a union-recognition campaign. In December, 80 percent of the graduate workers and research assistants who are members of the Northwestern University Graduate Workers (NUGW) voted to join IFT.
“We’re proud that these graduate employees have chosen to join IFT and the thousands of higher education faculty, staff, and other graduate employees we represent across the state,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “Through organizing, these important workers will be empowered to raise their collective voice and play an active role in the decisions that affect them, their students, and the universities they serve.”