Letter to Georgetown University Community with an Update on Graduate Student Unionization
October 22, 2018
Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,
At Georgetown, we’re committed to ensuring that members of our community have a voice in their experience. To that end, we write today to announce an election that will give each graduate student assistant the opportunity to vote on whether or not they would like to be represented by a union. Eligible graduate student assistants can vote on Nov. 5-8 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at any one of four locations. You can learn more about graduate student unionization at Georgetown by visiting gradunion.georgetown.edu. We encourage all eligible graduate students to make their voice heard by voting.
As you may recall, in late 2017 we learned that the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE) – a group of graduate students affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – was interested in forming a union. After dialogue with these students and members of our community, we reached an agreement on April 2, 2018 that would allow an election among eligible students. Georgetown estimates that over 1,000 graduate students would be eligible for union representation under GAGE’s proposed collective bargaining unit of Graduate Student Assistants. Graduate students eligible to vote will receive a separate message with more information about voting procedures.
The voluntary election will be held and overseen by a neutral third party, the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The agreement creates a framework recognizing that graduate students’ relationship with the University is fundamentally an educational one, while also responding to their desire to have a stronger voice in the terms of their service as Graduate Student Assistants.
We value our graduate students, who are an important part of our academic community. Georgetown is committed to continuing to enhance the resources provided to graduate students. You can learn more about the ongoing enhancements to graduate student life enacted through close dialogue with students here.
Georgetown will continue its efforts to improve conditions for graduate students if a union is not elected and will bargain in good faith if one is elected. We encourage all eligible graduate students to make their voices heard by voting and all members of our community to learn more about unionization by visiting gradunion.georgetown.edu.
We are committed to working together to ensure there is open and serious dialogue. Thank you for being a part of it.
Robert M. Groves, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Edward B. Healton, M.D.
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean