The Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth will become a recognized union, the group announced on Twitter this afternoon. According to the announcement, 261 graduate student workers voted to unionize, winning the election by an 89% margin. The union comes a year after the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth unanimously voted to unionize.
The College previously declined to voluntarily recognize the graduate union in February, deciding that efforts to unionize would require an election based on the National Labor Relations Board regulations. At the time, Provost David Kotz wrote that unionization would be “counterproductive” and “slow down” communication between the College and graduate students. After the decision, GOLD-UE filed a petition and requested a recognition election, according to Ph.D student and GOLD-UE organizer Rendi Rogers.
The decision also comes one week after Dartmouth submitted a revised labor list to the NLRB that would exclude 54% of graduate workers, GOLD-UE wrote in a document published on their website. Although the NLRB rejected the revised list the College informed NLRB and GOLD-UE that they would “challenge all ballots submitted by voters” not on that list. Before the vote, GOLD-UE had also asked Dartmouth to publicly commit not to challenge any ballots, according to the organization’s press release.
Graduate students and other supporters organized on the Green on Wednesday in support of the union. Ultimately, only 13 ballots were contested, according to the GOLD-UE announcement.
“Today’s election results affirm what we already knew: [graduate] workers support our union and see through Dartmouth’s union busting tactics,”the tweet stated.
According to past reporting by The Dartmouth, the graduate union’s goals include a higher graduate student stipend, increased privileges for international students — such as visas for immediate family members — and subsidized child care. As of February, Ph.D. students received $35,196 in annual stipends and annual tuition scholarships equal to $80,916.
“With our union now formally established, on our terms, we are excited to bargain for a contract that secures better living and working conditions for all Dartmouth [graduate] workers,” GOLD-UE wrote in their announcement.