Graduate Student Unionization

In The News

Rolling Stone's Top 50 Songs To Play While Not Unionizing 

(It's mostly Enya.)

Sustainable Hero: This Grad Student Ate Nothing But Dirt For An Entire Year
Ten Fun Activities That Aren't Unionizing

"#3: Build a sandcastle with the dust collecting on your floor because you can't afford a Swiffer." 


Fact Check

Big Cat University’s “Fact Check”


Big Cat University, who knows what’s best for its students, wants to set the record straight on some misconceptions that one may have about the possibility of unionization (which is permanent), and educate its grads so that they make the right decision when the vote comes to campus.


Giving credit where credit is due. Pitt already provides graduate students with many of the services that the United Steelworkers say other universities have accomplished through unionization. We don’t discriminate against you or let you get sexually harassed—most of the time! Attacking our University is biting that hand that feeds, and if (permanent) unionization occurs on campus, graduate students won’t end up with anything better. Just let us handle it.


A primer on law: Big Cat University is not required to continue stipend increases whilst negotiating contracts, contrary to what USW claims. Just remember: we’ll pour as much money as needed into our legal team to keep from having to pour more money into your stipends.


Representation matters. Big Cat has a strong track record of working closely with our graduate students. We worked so closely with them, in fact, that we literally hired them to do their jobs. The USW doesn’t have thatexperience, so how can graduate students look to stand behind them to support (a very permanent) union? They don’t know what you want, but we do. 


Potential conflicts of interest ahead. The USW is attempting to represent both Pitt students and Big Cat faculty, so how will they deal with a grievance between a graduate student and a faculty member who are both represented by the union? This surely hasn’t happened in the 150-plus years that labor unions have existed in the US, and the universe is likely to implode due to the paradoxical nature of such an event. Do you trust the USW to keep the apocalypse at bay?


We have an entire office that is devoted—100%—to supporting our international community. Did you notice that we said “100%”? That means we are serious.


Visa and immigration issues are not unionization issues. The U.S. government is the only entity that can deny work permits and visas, as well as order deportations. We literally can’t deny keep you from working here if you’re in a union (which is permanent), even if we wanted to!


Once you’re in, you’re in. Did we mention that a union contract is permanent? Once you’re in, there’s no turning back. You’re under the permanent control of the USW. Who wants such radical stability in their life?


A contract is a contract. If the union specifies a maximum number of hours that you can work a week, you can’t work greater than that maximum without consequences. So, if you’re really passionate about your job, you could be in for a long, drawn out legal battle to get what you want. We’re sure that you don’t want to go through such a thing… again. 



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