Graduate workers at Georgetown University have taken the next step to winning a union, giving the school official notice of their intent to hold a union recognition election and setting the stage for a formal recognition later in the fall—and historic first contracts. Strong majorities of the graduate students at both Georgetown and Brown University – which will also hold an election -- have indicated support for their unions, the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE) and Stand Up for Graduate Student Employees (SUGSE), both affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. “We have been working on this for a long time, and it’s great to be in a position where we’re ready to vote,” said Catie Sevigny, a Georgetown research assistant and fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in tumor biology. “It’s time to mobilize our members to make a positive change on campus and win a fair contract.” Earlier this year, both GAGE and SUGSE negotiated groundbreaking private pre-election agreements with their schools, and AFT President Randi Weingarten commended the Georgetown and Brown administrations “for rejecting the Trump administration’s attacks on workers and choosing the high road of dialogue and decency.” In addition to Brown and Georgetown, graduate unions are organizing at Princeton University, Northwestern University, Cornell University and the University of Chicago.
DC LABORFest 2021