Education, National

Brandeis, Tufts Grad Students Vote to Unionize

May 29, 2017

By Tara Jessup

May 30, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Brandeis President Ronald Liebowitz

Waltham, MA – Graduate students at Brandeis and Tufts universities became the first at Boston-area private colleges to unionize earlier this month. Service Employees International Union Local 509 announced May 2 that the Brandeis graduate students had voted to join the union by a 2-to-1 margin, and those at Tufts followed suit on May 18

. Brandeis President Ronald Liebowitz had opposed the union, writing in an open letter to graduate students and faculty in April that it would undermine “individualized graduate student academic programs” and produce a strict “employer/employee relationship between faculty and students.” Union supporter Diana Filar told the student newspaper Justice that those claims had “no merit.” “Given the role that graduate student workers play in teaching at Brandeis, we deserve a seat at the table,” she said in an SEIU statement. “Today’s vote to form a union opens the door to negotiations with the administration to ensure that it focuses on our professional development and training as educators.” Read more

May 29, 2017

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