Author Archives: Duke University

Finalizing the List of Eligible Voters in Union Election

Dear Ph.D. Students, We have finalized the list of eligible voters as defined by the National Labor Relations Board for the election to determine whether a majority of Ph.D. students who hold teaching or research appointments wish to be represented by the Service Employees International Union. We have just over 2,380 Ph.D. students in The… Read More »

Change in Election Period for Graduate Student Unionization

Dear Graduate Students, I promised to keep you updated on any changes that might occur. The National Labor Relations Board has changed the dates for the election to determine whether the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) should represent Duke Ph.D. students serving as research or teaching assistants to allow more time to develop and verify… Read More »

Graduate Student Union Election: What to Expect Next

Dear Graduate Students, As promised, I am following up to share more information about the upcoming election on whether the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) should represent Duke Ph.D. students serving as research or teaching assistants for the purposes of collective bargaining. First, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has decided on a mail ballot… Read More »

NLRB Decision Allows for Union Election by Ph.D. Students

Dear Graduate Students, Today, we received a decision from the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board in Atlanta, ruling that Duke Ph.D. students who serve as teaching and research assistants are employees who are eligible to seek representation through the Service Employees International Union. An election will be held in the near future… Read More »

Post-hearing Briefings Filed with NLRB

Duke University recently filed a post-hearing brief with the National Labor Relations Board following a hearing regarding the SEIU’s efforts to unionize graduate students. The brief describes Duke’s position that graduate students should not be considered employees. It also advocates for a manual ballot on campus when classes are in session should an election be… Read More »

Update on Graduate Student Unionization

Dear students, As you may be aware, on November 10, Duke received a petition from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) seeking an election to unionize all Ph.D. and master’s students in teaching and research assistant roles at Duke. As we approach the end of the semester, I am writing to provide an update. Duke… Read More »

Respect for Differing Perspectives on Unionization

The following message was sent by Dean Paula McClain to all master’s and Ph.D. students in The Graduate School.  Dear students, As you know, the SEIU has filed a petition asking for an election to determine whether master’s and Ph.D. students at The Graduate School want to form a union. Last week, President Brodhead wrote… Read More »

Rights of Graduate Students

A number of comments and specific questions have been raised about the SEIU’s organizing tactics and the related rights of graduate students. In particular, we have been asked if the union organizers who work for the SEIU can come on campus, or even into graduate student work spaces and University classrooms, in order to communicate with… Read More »

A Letter to Faculty from Provost Sally Kornbluth

Dear colleagues, As you likely know, there is an effort under way on campus to form a union to represent graduate student assistants at Duke. I am writing to provide an update, as well as some important guidelines that faculty need to follow when discussing the topic of union representation with graduate students. We are… Read More »