In an e mail despatched to the Stanford group on April 7, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell addressed the Stanford Graduate Employee Union’s (SGWU) unionization efforts, committing to offering factual info to the group, sustaining the College’s proper to supervise educational issues and holding open dialogue with graduate college students.
SGWU is a graduate student-led group which publicly launched its unionization marketing campaign on April 3 in response to considerations over an influence imbalance between the graduate pupil staff and the College.
In response to the group’s web site, “SGWU is combating for a union as a result of the issues we face as graduate staff are solvable. We consider that the power to have interaction in collective bargaining with the college administration — in different phrases, participation within the decision-making that impacts us — will assist us construct a Stanford the place all graduate staff can thrive.”
Of their e mail addressing the unionization, Tessier-Lavigne and Drell mentioned the College’s method to the current efforts, writing that “Stanford commits to offering factual info” via a Graduate Scholar Unionization web site.
The e-mail went on to emphasise the gravity of the potential resolution to unionize.
“We encourage each graduate pupil to think about intently what it means to develop into a member of a union, what it means to have interaction in collective bargaining, and what it means to have their academic expertise ruled by a collective bargaining settlement,” Tessier-Lavigne and Drell wrote.
The College leaders emphasised that “if elected, the union will symbolize not solely at the moment’s graduate college students, however future graduate college students, who is not going to have the identical alternative to vote on union illustration.”
With such a major resolution, Tessier-Lavigne and Drell urged graduate college students to keep up a “sturdy dialogue” on the subject of unionization. “On the identical time, it’s vital that people don’t try to unduly affect college students’ decisions or their votes. Graduate college students should be free to make this resolution on their very own,” they wrote.
Additionally they burdened that unionization was an employment matter and maintained that educational issues similar to analysis of educational progress and requirements, group of packages and the task of analysis and educating assistant roles ought to nonetheless be rights held by the College.
Tessier-Lavigne and Drell said their dedication to proceed to foster their relationship with graduate college students.
“Simply as we’re devoted to deepening their experience, nurturing their creativity, and finally making ready them for future success,” Tessier-Lavigne and Drell wrote, “we are going to proceed to work exhausting to know, admire, and be attentive to the wants of our graduate college students, in order that we may additionally foster their well-being all through their time at Stanford.”
In an e mail to The Every day, the coordinating committee of the SGWU wrote that they have been appreciative of Tessier-Lavigne and Drell’s acknowledgment of their work, although they believed that the e-mail did not acknowledge the problems confronted by graduate staff.
“For many years, graduate staff have engaged in sturdy discussions of those points, simply because the President and Provost inspired us to do of their letter,” SGWU wrote. “As we now have executed so, we now have realized that we face lots of the identical challenges.”
Among the many challenges SGWU famous within the e mail are affordability points similar to excessive on-campus residing prices, stipends not adjusted for inflation and costly childcare and dependent healthcare prices. In tandem, they wrote that there’s lack of monetary and authorized help for worldwide and undocumented college students and different points pertaining to procedures for addressing harassment and discrimination at work.
“For this reason we’re forming a union — to have a voice as staff who care deeply concerning the analysis we do and the scholars we educate,” SGWU wrote. “Our union is by graduate staff, for graduate staff. Simply as its prospects are in all of our palms at the moment, its future shall be within the palms of tomorrow’s grad staff.”