letter to the graduate community

Dear University of Chicago Graduate Students,

With the possibility of a vote on graduate student unionization at the University of Chicago becoming more and more likely, we believe it is our role to offer resources to students in advance of making this important decision.  The Graduate Council is explicitly neutral on the topic of unionization; we believe that the issue is complicated and that there is not one answer that will obviously benefit all students.  We believe that there is room for rational, well-educated students to come to different conclusions about what is in their personal best interest as well as the best interest of all graduate students.  We believe that arguments from either side which attempt to paint a different picture are over-simplified and dangerous to the process of helping students make an informed decision. 

We believe that we are uniquely positioned to help those students who seek critical thinking and discourse, not indoctrination.  In that spirit, we provide the below resources as a way for students to interact with a variety of perspectives, opinions, and data points.  We do not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed in the content below, nor do we vouch for their accuracy, but we believe each is contextually important and relevant for a variety of reasons.  We have done our best to categorize the links based on which side we believe they represent.  Not every piece of information is expressly pushing one viewpoint, but, as an example, anything that GSU does would be categorized “pro-union” and anything the administration puts out would be considered “anti-union” based on our belief about where each stand in the overall debate. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to help by adding resources or getting involved, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Thank you,

Graduate Council

Election Info

Don't know when or where to vote? Here are the announcements from the NLRB about voting times and locations:

NLRB Announcement and Voting Details

Voting Locations

graduate council town hall

On May 9th, 2017 Graduate Council hosted a town hall and invited speakers from all sides of the argument to participate. Follow the link below to view the recording of the event.

VIDEO: Graduate Council Town Hall on Unionization - May 9th, 2017

During the town hall meeting, several references were cited. They are provided here for convenience.

UC Administration links, resources & past communication (Anti-union)

The NYU graduate union contract  (Neutral)

NYU faculty report that references the use of grievance procedures (Anti-union)

other uchicago resources

NLRB Election Procedures - Wikipedia (Neutral)

NLRB Filing and Proposed Bargaining Unit - NLRB (Neutral)

NLRB Hearings and Filings - Provost's Office (Source/Hearing Updates: Anti-Union, Transcripts/Subpoenas/Filings: Neutral)

Graduate Students United (GSU) - Student Unionization Group (Pro-union)

Stop & Think - Student Anti-Unionization Group (Anti-union)

Graduate Students in STEM Departments Affirm Their Support for Student Unionization - Chicago Maroon (Pro-union)

STEM Departments Should Think Twice Before Voting in Favor of UnionizationChicago Maroon (Anti-union, Response to Pro-union Maroon Article)

BSD Unionization Poll - (Neutral, Referenced in Anti-union Maroon Article)

Administrative Public Q&A: The University administration is inviting questions about unionization, which they plan to publicly answer in the coming weeks.  Questions can be sent to: unionquestions@uchicago.edu (Anti-union)

in the media


Cornell GSU members discussing concerns within their union:  Democracy Caucus (Pro-union)

Cornell anti-union student group: “At What Cost” (Anti-union)

Cornell Union: Cornell GSU  (Pro-union)



Duke union: Duke GSU (Pro-union)

Duke anti-union student group: Students Against Duke Unionization (Anti-union)



Harvard union: Harvard GSU (Pro-union)

Harvard Anti-union: Against The GSU and “A Critical Approach”  (Anti-union)

resources from other schools