The NLRB has ruled in our favor for a new election! Here’s part of the recommendations from the Hearing Officer:

I  find  that  the Employer has not substantially complied with the voter list requirements set forth in Section 102.62(d) of the Board’s Rules and Regulations. Accordingly, I recommend that  [HGSU-UAW’s] objection be sustained and that, if a revised tally of ballots does not result in the Petitioner receiving a majority of the valid votes cast, the results of this election be set aside and a new election be directed.” – NLRB Hearing Officer We also won the eligibility of 195 voters! This includes Lookback voters, GSD Teaching Assistants and first-year OEB Lab Scientists, and other individual cases. Read more details here.

(Read the full text here)

What happens next?
This ruling directs the 195 eligible ballots to be opened and counted. We expect that this will considerably narrow the margin of difference between no and yes votes. Then, because of the huge disparity between that small margin and the hundreds of students left off the eligibility list, a new election will be scheduled. During this time, Harvard may continue to fight the eligibility of voters by appealing the eligibility decisions or the decision on our objections to the NLRB. If that happens, we expect the Board to recognize what the hearing officer recognized: that hundreds of missing voters prohibited a fair election.

Look back workers are eligible!

“I find that the [Union’s] approach, as slightly modified below, strikes the best balance between shielding from disenfranchisement those voters who have an ongoing interest in the terms and conditions of employment of the bargaining unit and limiting the inclusion of individuals who have no real expectation of future employment with the Employer. The Employer’s approach of having no “look back” classification would disenfranchise a significant number of individuals who have a continuing interest in the bargaining unit’s terms and conditions of employment.”

-NLRB Hearing Officer

Why this matters now, more than ever:
We need a union because Harvard has cut the pay increase of GSAS PhD students while other unionized workers at Harvard received >3% raises. Just this week, Harvard made arbitrary changes to the summer funding of many GSAS PhD students causing massive confusion. Imminent threats from the Trump administration to cut science research funding, to gut the EPA, to eliminate endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and to restrict immigration make our work all the more precarious. Moreover, xenophobic and racist attacks on people of color, immigrants and their families make clear the need for us to come together to protect ourselves and our interests. A new election—that includes all eligible voters—gives us the chance to win these rights and protections that we need.

“a wealth of other evidence supports the conclusion that the TAs perform instructional services, including for example, the digital tutorials that TAs hold in the GSD studio courses”

-NLRB Hearing Officer

Update on Summer Funding for GSAS PhD Students in Affected Programs
First of all, thank you to the many students who have been calling and emailing the financial aid office to address the changes to summer funding for GSAS students in affected programs. The financial aid office has revised its announcement and is now instructing individual students to speak with their individual department-level financial aid officers to receive a June lump-sum payment instead of July and August disbursements. If you are a GSAS PhD student who was expecting a lump-sum June 1 payment, you should contact your departmental financial aid officer to receive that payment.

As this remedy to last week’s arbitrary change resulted from many students expressing the same concerns, we maintain that we can best protect ourselves and each other from economic insecurity by working together to negotiate and secure policies that work for all students. The administration claims that this shift was our expressed preference—though it’s unclear by whom, when, or how this was solicited. The administration should negotiate with us over priorities that we vote on and approve democratically.

“The relevant testimony establishes that first-year students in the OEB Department are commonly engaged in research work that would otherwise qualify them for inclusion in the bargaining unit.”

-NLRB Hearing Officer