Rights of Graduate Students

By | November 12, 2016

Know_Your_Rights_ImageA 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 graduate students about the union?

The answer is no, they cannot do so uninvited. Employees of the union cannot come onto Duke’s campus and approach graduate students uninvited to have a conversation about the union.

That does not mean they will not attempt to do so. You certainly have the right to decline their attempted contact and you do not have to meet with them on campus. If a graduate student wants to accept the SEIU organization’s invitation to meet or wants to schedule a meeting with the SEIU’s organizer on campus (e.g. in his/her work space, in an on-campus eating establishment or other public area on campus), s/he also has the right to do so.

It is also not unusual for union organizers to attempt to contact graduate students at home. Again, that is your private property. You may speak with the union organizers if you choose to do so but may also decline the request and ask the organizer to leave your property.

If a union organizer has contacted you at home or by mobile phone, home phone or email, be assured we did not provide that personal contact information to the union. Now that the union has filed an election petition, however, be aware that the law now requires an employer to provide the union with the following information (if available) for each eligible voter:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Home phone
  • Personal cell phone
  • Personal email

We know many of you will find this to be an invasion of privacy, but it is now required by law.

Read More

Key Points About Union Authorization Cards

Collective Bargaining: The Basics

Frequently Asked Questions