Update on NLRB and Bargaining

We are continuing to fight for your contract this semester, and we have some serious news to share.

On Tuesday, we reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on our grievance procedure. This proposal will offer graduate workers the means with which to address systemic insufficiences relating to our working conditions, appointments, and other aspects of the labor that we do for the university. No TA is final until our contract is ratified, but this TA marks a meaningful step in good faith negotiations and is a good sign of Brown’s willingness to cooperate with us in the future.

Yesterday, however, a new test of that spirit of cooperation appeared. On Friday morning, the National Labor Relations Board put forward a proposal that could reverse all of our hard work, organizing, and bargaining efforts. Here are some FAQ about this proposal: what it is, what it means for us, and how you can help.

  1. What is the NLRB proposing?
    The National Labor Relations Board would implement a rule reversing its previous ruling that graduate workersat private universities have the right to form or join a union under the protection of the National Labor Relations Act.
  2. What does this mean for me and for SUGSE?
    By reclassifying us solely as “students” rather than “employees,” the NLRB seeks to deny us labor protections, such as an employer’s obligation to bargain in good faith with its employees’ union representative. This means that if the University were to decide to stop coming to the table to bargain with us, or if it refused to recognize SUGSE altogether, the NLRB would not intervene.
  3. How can I help protect our right to unionize?
    Your participation is invaluable in this crucial time! We need to take action so that the NLRB, the Trump administration and the University can see that we are serious about our right to recognition. First, we need to voice our opposition to the NLRB’s proposed rulemaking. Use this Action Toolkit to learn how to submit a public comment on the proposal and other ways to take a stand against this attack.

While Trump appointees keep trying to rollback workers rights, we will keep striving to reach a contract, our best protection as employees. We believe the University will honor its commitment to negotiate in good faith and not choose to take advantage of the Trump NLRB’s efforts. We will hold them to this expectation by continuing to speak out about how #OurWorkHasVALUE.

In solidarity,
Rithika Ramamurthy
Bargaining Committee Co-Chair

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