Union Affiliation Vote Information





Original Post:

Dear Fellow Graduate Student Employees,

As you may know, there is an on-going effort to organize a union of research assistants (RAs) and teaching assistants (TAs), to advocate for grad employee rights and protections at Brown University. We thank the Graduate Student Council for supporting the involvement of all grads in this choice and look forward to continuing to work together throughout and beyond this decision.

As part of this process, SUGSE’s Affiliation working group has been hard at work the past few months talking to graduate students at other universities and negotiating with potential union affiliates. A comprehensive, 35-page report of this process and their findings is available on our website. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to read it all. But it’s there if you want to!)

We are fundamentally committed to an inclusive, democratic, and transparent unionization process. To this end, we are holding an open affiliation vote. The vote:

  • …Will determine which national union we affiliate with as graduate students.
  • …Will be held using a secure online system from Sunday, March 19th 6:00pm to Tuesday, March 21st 6:00pm.
  • …Will be open to all current Brown Ph.D. and Masters students who register using this linked form* by Monday, March 20th 6:00pm (more details in the link). Note that in response to feedback from the community SUGSE members have collectively agreed to open the vote to non-members who register.

Right now, you might be unfamiliar with the unionization process and the significance of this vote. That’s ok! Our hope is that this will be the first of many opportunities to learn about and participate in workplace democracy.

Volunteers have prepared the following introductory materials:


We’re excited to share what we’ve learned, and hope you will join us in building a stronger grad community! Feel free to reach us by email at standupforgrads@gmail.com!

In solidarity,

Stand Up for Graduate Student Employees

SUGSE is an anti-racist, feminist, labor organization that advocates for graduate worker rights and protections at Brown.
*This is *not* a legal document or petition, and this does not commit you to a decision about unionization or a contract. Registering on this form simply indicates that you support the goal of forming an inclusive, democratic, and transparent labor union that holds feminism and anti-racism as values.


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