Latest Updates

SEIU Withdraws Petition for Unionization

On March 8, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) withdrew its petition seeking to unionize Duke Ph.D. students serving as teaching assistants and research assistants in The Graduate School.  Read More »

Over 300 Challenged Ballots Impounded by Order of NLRB

Prior to the counting of ballots in Friday’s election, the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., ordered that 303 of the challenged ballots from the election be impounded because the Regional Director failed to allow the university an opportunity to litigate the eligibility of teaching and research assistants who are not serving this semester but held appointments in 2016.  The remaining 200 challenges were asserted on various grounds  by SEIU, Duke or both.   Read More »

Vote to Unionize Ph.D. Students Too Close to Call

Of the 1,089 ballots cast, 691 voted against representation (“NO”) by SEIU and 398 for representation by SEIU (“YES”). There were, however, 502 ballots challenged based on issues of voter eligibility. Because the number of challenged ballots is greater than the spread between the “YES” and “NO” votes, the challenges could determine the outcome and will be subject to post-election procedures of the NLRB.  Read More »

 Finalizing the List of Eligible Voters in Union Election

Duke has 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. Read More »

Change in Election Period for Graduate Student Unionization

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 the list of students eligible to vote. Read More »

Graduate Student Union Election: What to Expect Next

Dean Paula McClain shares 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. Read More »

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

A decision from the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board in Atlanta, has ruled 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 by mail ballot. Read More »

Post-hearing Briefings Filed with NLRB

Duke University and the Service Employees International Union recently filed post-hearing briefings with the National Labor Relations Board to further articulate their positions regarding the unionization of graduate students. Read More »

Update on Graduate Student Unionization

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. Read More »

Duke Statement on NLRB Action

Duke responds to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision to allow the University to present testimony at a hearing regarding the status of Ph.D. students, contesting the efforts of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to organize those students into a union for the purposes of collective bargaining.   Read More »

McClain: Respect for Differing Perspectives on Unionization

In the past week, a number of students have come forward to express their concerns about how contentious the organizing process on campus has become. Read More »

Notification of Petition

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, the Service Employees International Union filed an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) seeking an election involving certain Ph.D. and Masters students working toward degrees in the Graduate School. Read More »

Message from President Brodhead on Proposed Graduate Student Union

I write regarding a proposal that concerns all masters and Ph.D. students in The Graduate School who are also teaching and research assistants at Duke. This past week, the university received notice that the Service Employees International Union has filed a petition on behalf of this group for an election at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and an election may now be held at Duke.  Read More »

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve pulled together some answers to common questions to help you learn more about union representation and what it might mean for you. Learn more about the unionization process and the implications of collective bargaining. Read More »

Collective Bargaining: The Basics

Collective bargaining is the process by which an employer and a union representing some or all of the employer’s employees negotiate over the “wages, hours and other conditions of employment” for those employees. These are called “mandatory subjects” of collective bargaining. The Service Employees union wants to represent certain PhD and Masters students seeking degrees through the Duke Graduate School. If an… Read More »

A Letter to Faculty from Provost Sally Kornbluth

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… Read More »

A Message to Graduate Students from Dean Paula McClain

I have received questions from many of you about efforts on campus to form a union to represent graduate student assistants at Duke. Some of you have mentioned receiving or signing a card or petition but were not clear on what it meant. Read More »