With what the UE NEWS believes to be the largest “yes” vote of any NLRB election among graduate workers, the 3,300 graduate workers at Johns Hopkins University voted by a margin of 2053-67 to be represented by Teachers and Researchers United/UE.
The voting took place on January 30 and 31, and is the culmination of years of JHU grad workers fighting for a living wage and fair working conditions.
“I can’t tell you how happy this victory makes me,” said Peter Weck, a graduate worker in the Physics department. “I’ve been organizing toward a recognized union here for over six years now. And to see all the possibilities we’ve fought for suddenly coming into focus as real possibilities is exhilarating.”
“Getting involved in TRU-UE helped me realize many of the issues I encountered in grad school did not just have to be endured, but could actually be solved by coming together,” said Alishah Chator, who works in the Computer Science department. “Grad workers are known for being overworked, and it is only natural they should have a fair say in their work conditions.”
Alex Peeples, a graduate worker in the History department, added, “This win is proof that grad students want more than we’ve been offered. I’m so excited for us to win those changes together.”
Chator concluded, “The most rewarding part of organizing by far has been spreading that optimism and conviction that things can indeed be improved!”