MU grad students "will not accept the status quo," vote to unionize

11 months 6 days 18 hours ago April 19, 2016 Apr 19, 2016 Tuesday, April 19 2016 Tuesday, April 19, 2016 9:49:00 PM CDT in News
By: Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri graduate students have voted to unionize.

According to a statement from the Coalition of Graduate Workers, 84 percent of voters in Monday and Tuesday's elections voted in favor of the coalition "acting as the exclusive representative of graduate student employees for the purpose of collective bargaining."

The coalition said the results of the elections demonstrate "graduate student employees will not accept the status quo."

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley sent an email to graduate students on April 8 saying the university could not recognize a graduate student union. Foley said the university had been working with them to improve communication, but the decision to vote on unionizing was made without consulting MU administration. Foley's email called the vote "surprising and disappointing."

The graduate students said the vote in favor of unionization is proof that they should be allowed to unionize.

"We view the results as a clear mandate in favor of graduate student employee collective bargaining, and we call for the administration of the University of Missouri to duly recognize these democratic results," the statement from the coalition said.

The statement continued with, "If the University of Missouri is to move forward, it will be due in no small part to the resolute desire of graduate students to make the University of Missouri a better institution of higher education."

The coalition also addressed events from fall 2015.

"It is also the culmination of an academic year of tireless organizing during which the graduate student employees of the University of Missouri have provided inspiration to universities across the United States," the statement read.

The graduate student coalition said, "We look forward to building a broadly representative bargaining team, and to beginning contract negotiations with the University."

 

 

 

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