Guidelines for Faculty re: Graduate Student Union Organizing

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As you may know, some graduate students at Georgetown are considering organizing a union.  On November 1, 2017, the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees, a group of Georgetown graduate students affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), asked Georgetown to voluntarily recognize their labor union and begin bargaining a first contract.  We are sending you these guidelines concerning how you may respond to union organizing activity among graduate students who provide teaching, research, or other service for the University.

What You May Do

  • Do encourage students to talk openly and freely with one another and share their views.  
  • Do encourage students to get more information about the union election process, by visiting the NLRB’s website, at (new window).  They can also call the NLRB’s Washington resident office at 202-208-3000 and ask for the information officer on duty.

What You May Not Do

  • Do Not ask whether students support a union or not.
  • Do Not ask whether students have spoken with a union or otherwise are participating in a union organizing campaign.
  • Do Not create the impression you are monitoring union meetings or communications between students and representatives of a union.
  • Do Not ask what union organizers are saying or doing. 
  • Do Not ask students to report back to you concerning union meetings, events, or communications.
  • Do Not treat students who are openly supporting unionization any differently than those who are not. 
  • Do Not treat representatives of a union differently than any representatives of any other outside organization that wants to speak with members of the University community. 
  • Do Not suggest that the University will suffer financial or other hardship if students are represented by a union.
  • Do Not make statements that could be construed to threaten a loss of financial aid or benefits if a union organizing campaign is successful.  

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