Missouri graduate workers voting on whether to unionize

11 months 4 days 6 hours ago April 18, 2016 Apr 18, 2016 Monday, April 18 2016 Monday, April 18, 2016 5:00:00 AM CDT in News
By: Nick Yahl, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - University of Missouri graduate workers will vote Monday and Tuesday on whether or not to unionize. 

If approved, the vote would not force the university to recognize the graduate workers as an official union. Rather the vote is simply to determine if graduate workers would like to be represented by a singular group. 

Connor Lewis, co-chair for the Coalition of Graduate Workers, said he hopes the administration keeps a close eye on the election results and shows the graduate workers more respect.

"Our hope is that the University of Missouri will take a look at the election results and see that these were achieved through a fair and free democratic election and choose to recognize the results and begin contract negotiations with graduate student employees," Lewis said.  

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said in a statement last week the university would not back any decision to unionize. 

"In recent conversations, we indicated there was some question regarding the legality of unionization among graduate students, and until this question is resolved, it would be inappropriate to move forward. To this end, any vote to unionize at this time cannot be considered binding or recognized by the university," Foley said. 

If the graduate workers vote yes and the university stays with its initial decision to not recognize the graduate workers as a union, Lewis said they will have re-evaluate their strategy moving forward. 

Any graduate worker is allowed to vote in the election at either the Student Center or Memorial Union. The voting runs from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. 

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