April 26, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Cambridge, MA – The National Labor Relations Board ruled Apr. 19 that the union organizing Harvard University graduate student workers had “valid” concerns about the vote it lost last November.
The Harvard Graduate Students Union, a United Auto Workers affiliate, lost the election to represent graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants by 184 votes, but 314 ballots were challenged on the grounds of eligibility. The NLRB said the university “has not substantially complied with the voter list requirements,” and recommended that if a revised tally did not give the union a majority, “the results of this election be set aside and a new election be directed.” Harvard has until May 3 to challenge that recommendation. “We are encouraged by the hearing officer’s decision.” Niharika Singh, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Public Policy, said in a statement released by the union, because they “believe that if given a fair election, Harvard graduate workers will choose to join together to collectively bargain.” Read more