Student workers deserve a say. UGSDW can give them one.
Why a union?
Grinnell has always valued self-governance. College president George Gates famously said that “It is 10,000 times better that young people should learn to govern themselves.” Despite this, self-governance is notably absent in the workplace. Wages and hours are set arbitrarily by the administration, and jobs can disappear without notice or discussion.
UGSDW can provide a voice to student workers. Together, we can advocate for our common goals in a way that has not been possible before. We have an opportunity to radically rethink the relationship between student labor and the college. We can make Grinnell the most unionized campus in the country, a place where democracy rules over fiat, where fair wages are the rule rather than the exception.
Why this union?
Unlike other unions for graduate and undergraduate workers, UGSDW is not affiliated with any national or international union. We’re entirely democratic and student-run. Relying on voluntary dues and volunteered time, we’ve taken on one of the wealthiest colleges in the country and won large raises, negotiated new worker protections, and improved the quality of service in the dining hall. It’s time to bring the benefits of unionization to the rest of campus.
What about dues?
UGSDW has no mandatory dues. For those who are willing and able, we suggest monthly dues of $2.00 to help pay for things like our website, printing, mailing, and food. There are no dues in January, June, July, and August.
I don’t want to get fired.
It’s illegal for Grinnell to retaliate or discriminate against you in any way for union activity. There’s an entire government agency, the National Labor Relations Board, dedicated to protecting your right to have a say at work.
We don’t send the College a list of our members. Your name and signature will be reviewed and counted by a neutral third party or the NLRB.
How does expansion work?
We’ve challenged the Grinnell administration to sign a Neutrality and Card Check Agreement, which would force the college to remain neutral throughout the process, and to recognize the union once we’ve received the support of a majority of student workers.
To show your support, simply join the union. Once we reach 50%, we can bargain a contract.
For questions or comments about the expansion, e-mail us at [email protected].
What would an expanded union look like and do?
As we expand this fall, we will put together a diverse organizing committee, with workers from all over campus. The organizing commitee will work with the membership to identify key priorities for a first contract. The breadth of our coalition will allow us to effectively advocate for these goals.
At the same time, we recognize that not all jobs on campus are alike. Our goal is not to interfere where things are going well now. We plan to allow workers in each department to bargain over specific issues that affect them, instead of having everything be dictated by the entire organization.
Exactly how an expanded UGSDW would operate is still up in the air. As with everything we do, change will be driven by our members, new and old.