SEIU Accuses Duke of Erecting Unionization Blockades - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

SEIU Accuses Duke of Erecting Unionization Blockades

Email




by David Pluviose

In a news release, the Service Employees International Union is criticizing Duke University’s administration, following a vote to unionize Duke graduate students on Friday, alleging that Duke has done “everything it could for months to delay the vote and prevent hundreds of workers from receiving ballots” and Duke is “now contesting the eligibility of hundreds of student workers to participate.”

Duke Today, Duke’s in-house news service, reports that, of the 1,089 ballots cast on Friday, 691 voted against representation by SEIU and 398 voted for SEIU representation. However, 502 ballots have been challenged, and thus, the outcome remains uncertain.

However, in an email to Diverse, Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, says there is more to the story.

“Of the 502 challenged ballots, 302 were impounded by order of the NLRB in Washington, D.C., because the regional director failed to allow the university an opportunity to litigate the eligibility of teaching and research assistants who are not serving this semester but held appointments in 2016,” Schoenfeld said.

According to Schoenfeld, the remaining 200 challenges “were made by both SEIU and Duke.” Duke challenged ballots for issues ranging from students no longer enrolled at Duke, students who have already graduated, students not enrolled in Ph.D. programs, and students “not within the legally defined bargaining unit during the prescribed time, and whose activities made them ineligible to vote (i.e., they were on fellowships, not in a working relationship).

“The university supported a free and fair election, and we look forward to an equally free and fair resolution of these concerns,” Schoenfeld says.

Related:  Former Rutgers Football Players Accused of Sexual Assault

In addition, on March 1, SEIU said in its release that “Duke graduate students, faculty and others will join a nationwide day of action under the banner of #CampusResistance and lift up the demand that all voices be heard.”

“This is not the first legal obstacle we will have overcome, and we stand together confident in the strength of our message and our movement,” said Jane Tandler in the release, who is studying neurobiology and pursuing a Ph.D. at Duke. “Together we will secure a unified voice to speak out for positive change in our working conditions, ultimately improving our own work and making Duke stronger as well.”

In the release, SEIU notes that about 15,000 higher education faculty and graduate workers have joined SEIU since 2013.

David Pluviose can be reached at [email protected].

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Hungary Sees No Reason to Change Law Affecting Soros School BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s government said Thursday it sees no reason to alter the recently amended education law which could force a university founded by billionaire George Soros to leave the country. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of st...
College Renames Building Amid Link to Racial Segregation EWING, N.J. — The College of New Jersey has changed the name of a building amid concern its namesake was a racial segregationist. Paul Loser Hall was renamed Trenton Hall on Wednesday by the college board of trustees. The move comes a week after P...
Bloomsburg University to Guide Foster Care Youth Toward College This summer, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will roll out a program designed to encourage more students from the foster care system to attend college. The Anchor Program will be available to foster youth attending high schools in five counties...
New York Governor Offers Talks with Hungary on Soros School BUDAPEST, Hungary — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he is ready for talks with Hungary’s government on the status of Central European University, which may be forced to leave Budapest due to recent amendments to the law on higher education....
Semantic Tags: