Latest News

Authorizations from Student Workers

UGSDW Files for Election, Paving the Way for Campus-wide Union

October 8, 2018
UGSDW filed a petition on Monday with the federal National Labor Relations Board, a first step towards a union election which would allow UGSDW to represent all student workers at Grinnell College. If more than 50% of the votes at the election are for the union, it will be certified, and the college will be required to start bargaining over wages, benefits, and workplace conditions.
Joe Rosenfield Center, where Dining Services is located

UGSDW Wins Reinstatement for Student Employees

July 14, 2018
UGSDW won reinstatement of 146 wrongfully fired student dining employees, but much remains to be improved in the employment practices of Grinnell College. UGSDW will fight toward a campus-wide union to address problems across the campus.

A Response to President Kington

April 19, 2018
Today President Kington sent out a Special Campus Memo addressing our ongoing unionization efforts. The memo is full of vague statements, and a few thinly-veiled threats. Notably absent is the recognition we have been fighting for: that student workers are employees and have the right to organize. The administration refuses to treat us as such; instead they advance an argument against unionization that is simply unsupported by the facts.

Grinnell’s Anti-worker Agenda

November 16, 2017

In September, UGSDW announced a campaign to bring union representation to all student workers at Grinnell. We tried to work with the Grinnell administration to reach an agreement that would ensure students had the right to decide for themselves whether to unionize or not, free from interference and intimidation.

Langston Thomas, speaking

The Most Unionized Campus in America

September 20, 2017
UGSDW announced Wednesday a new effort to unionize all student workers at Grinnell College. If successful, the union would triple the size of its bargaining unit and make Grinnell the only educational institution in the country to have every undergraduate worker represented by a union.
Workers at Grinnell's dining hall

Student Dining Workers Ratify New Contract with Grinnell College

September 9, 2017
UGSDW members voted unanimously Saturday to ratify a new two-year contract with Grinnell College, ending a months-long dispute over cost-of-living adjustments for dining hall employees. Beginning next week, wages will increase to $9.50 per hour from $9.25 per hour. Starting in July 2018, wages will increase again, in proportion to the raise received by other support staff at the college.

Members Reject Grinnell’s Final Offer — Again

August 27, 2017

Press Release

Bob's Underground Cafe

Statement on the Closing of Bob’s Underground Cafe and Lyle’s Pub

August 26, 2017

Press Release

Financial Report

End-of-Year Financial Report

June 6, 2017

Press Release

Members Unanimously Reject College Proposal

May 17, 2017

In a special meeting UGSDW members unanimously rejected the College’s final proposal for the 2017-2018 contract. The college offered a paltry ten cent raise, but only starting in 2018. The members have communicated to the college that, for now, they will not accept a wage below $9.60, a cost of living adjustment that matched the increase in Grinnell’s comprehensive fee for the 2017-18 academic year. The college has refused to recognize that the wages that we make go directly to paying for food and other amenities that we need to attend Grinnell, which only becomes harder and harder as tuition is increased year over year.

Grinnell’s Final Offer

May 15, 2017

Today administrators with the College presented their final contract offer. While many of the Union’s original proposals, such as increased bonus tiers and better handling of health and safety issues, were included, the College’s proposal does not include any change to the current base wage of $9.25 an hour.

Cleveland Beach

May Day Barbecue

April 27, 2017

Join us at Cleveland Beach from 4:30–6:00 p.m. on Sunday April 30 (rain location: Loose Lounge) for a barbecue to celebrate May Day and International Workers’ Day. Come and enjoy hot dogs and other refreshments. Vegan and gluten-free options will be available.

Ballot box

2017–2018 Officer Elections

April 17, 2017
UGSDW officer elections will be held on Saturday, May 6, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in JRC 209. All four Executive Board positions will be elected to a term of one year.
Equal Wage Protest

Equal Wage Protest a Success!

April 11, 2017
On Monday, April 10, UGSDW members protested Grinnell’s treatment of high school dining workers. The union gathered over 200 signatures, and raised awareness of the college’s outrageous behavior.

Equal Wage Protest

April 8, 2017

On Monday, April 10, UGSDW will be outside the dining hall protesting the College’s treatment of high school workers.


Grinnell, Stop Cheating Your Workers

April 4, 2017
We hear a lot about Grinnell’s commitment to social responsibility. It’s plastered all over the College’s website and the glossy brochures it sends out every fall. But what does that commitment look like in practice?
Summer White

UGSDW Endorses Summer White for SGA President

February 23, 2017

Press Release

Experience Pay Bonuses

December 7, 2016

Don’t miss the opportunity to earn experience pay for the Fall 2016 semester! Our contract requires that you work at least 110 hours this semester in order to qualify for a bonus. Hours worked before the contract went into effect count towards this amount.

Spencer Grill

UGSDW Begins Unionization of the Spencer Grill

November 27, 2016

Press Release


First Contract Ratified!

September 27, 2016
Union members today approved their first contract with Grinnell College, and the first in the nation between a private college or university and an undergraduate labor union.
Bargaining Team

Tentative Agreement Reached

September 25, 2016
The Contract Bargaining Team today unanimously recommended the tentative collective bargaining agreement reached with Grinnell College.