Dear Members of the Yale Community,
In October, UNITE HERE Local 33 petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for an election, seeking to represent graduate and professional school students at Yale. Yale honored that request and worked collaboratively with Local 33 representatives on the terms of the election, which was held on campus on November 30 and December 1 and included an option for mail-in ballots for those eligible but who could not participate in person. The NLRB counted the votes earlier today and has certified the results. A total of 2,039 votes were counted out of the 3,214 graduate and professional school students who were eligible to vote; 1,860 voted in favor of unionization, and 179 voted against unionization.
Throughout the fall semester, we have consistently affirmed a few key facts and principles: that the leaders of the university care about the well-being of all our students, that a democratic election in which all eligible students have the right to vote was the appropriate way to decide the question about unionization, and that we should address this matter as a community through civil, open discourse. With today’s result, the university will now turn to bargaining in good faith with Local 33 to reach a contract. The bargaining unit will include students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences who have teaching or research appointments and students in the professional schools who have teaching appointments. This development will affect our entire community, so I encourage anyone who has questions about graduate student unionization to review the frequently asked questions prepared by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
As we work with the graduate student union, we will continue to be guided by our commitment to Yale’s educational and research mission and to the success of all our students. As a faculty member who mentored and taught graduate and professional school students for decades, I take seriously our responsibility as educators and advisors, and I encourage all faculty members to stay informed and to review the guidelines for engaging with students on the subject of unionization. As we work with the new union, we are fortunate that we can build on the strong relationships we have established with the other unions in the Yale community.
From the outset of the election process, the university has emphasized the core values of free expression and mutual respect. I am thankful to everyone who upheld these principles and engaged constructively across a range of perspectives during the period leading up to the election. As we move forward together, I know we will continue to sustain the spirit of openness and inclusivity we fostered during the election process.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology