On Friday, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board released its decision that Penn State graduate assistants – including teaching assistants, research assistants, administrative support assistants, and trainees – are considered employees under the Public Employee Relations Act, and therefore have the right to bargain collectively regarding wages, hours, and working conditions.
GPSA hopes that the University will accept the PLRB’s ruling without further legal challenges, and we continue to support graduate assistants’ right to democratically decide whether or not to form a union at Penn State. It is now every graduate assistant’s responsibility to do their own research about the unionization process and the potential benefits and drawbacks of graduate assistant unionization. Every eligible graduate assistant should vote, but more importantly, every eligible graduate assistant should make a well-informed decision. GPSA will not encourage students to vote either for or against unionizing, but we do encourage students to share thoughts and opinions with one another in order to foster meaningful dialogue surrounding this topic.
We will continue to provide updates as more information comes out related to the voting procedure and the date of the election.