Yesterday, two things happened that have had a profound effect on our union election proceedings. First, graduate workers won our appeal against Penn’s attempt to exclude Educational Fellowship Recipients (EFRs) who do teaching or research from voting in the union election. In response, Penn is now leveraging this victory to delay our election.

Penn admin has moved to postpone graduate student workers’ union election, which was scheduled for April 16 & 17 in Houston Hall. The new dates and location are yet to be determined, but Penn grad workers are fighting to make sure our union election happens as soon as possible.

Penn claims that in order to accommodate the inclusion of EFRs doing research and teaching work, they will need weeks to compile a new list of eligible voters. Penn also claims that they can’t find any available space on campus to hold the election this semester. Penn admin even went so far as to suggest that our election should be moved to November. These claims are misleading or false. Penn is making a blatant attempt to further delay grad workers’ vote to have a democratic voice in our workplace.

We will not let Penn intimidate us or slow our momentum. Thousands of grad workers remain committed to having a union election as soon as possible with as large a turnout as possible. Penn grad workers are pursuing every alternative to make this happen. Stay tuned for more information from GETUP-UAW organizers. As soon as we have new dates, a location, and other election details, it will be crucial that we all help spread the word to our coworkers and ensure even greater turnout on election day.

A supermajority of grad workers at Penn want a union. Penn admin knows this. Because of our visible power, the university administration is using legal mechanisms to try to delay and demoralize us. This is a blatant anti-union tactic and only further demonstrates that grad workers need an independent voice in our workplace through a union.

What can you do to help?

  1. Tell your coworkers about this update. It’s important that all grad workers are informed about this update and aware of Penn’s anti-union tactics. Stay tuned to the GETUP-UAW website for more updates.

  2. Sign the vote “yes” pledge if you haven’t already, and consider adding your name to the list of over 500 grad workers publicly committing to vote “yes.” It’s clear that we need to show Penn just how many of us are committed to winning our union.

  3. On April 17th, the University of Pennsylvania chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP–Penn) is holding a rally in support of grad workers’ fight to form a union. Supporters across Penn are rallying at 1pm at the Button. Show up so that together, grad workers can show our support for forming our union while we work to secure a new election date.

In Solidarity,

Ash Maria, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory

Clancy Murray, Political Science

Jacob Glennister, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Tess Bernhard, Graduate School of Education

Kyla Mace, Pharmacology

Emily Aunins, CAMB – Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Emily Beeman, Materials Science and Engineering

Anni Moore, Genomics & Computational Biology

Anne-Marie Zaccarin, Electrical and Systems Engineering

Sam Layding, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Jonathan Nadraws, Chemistry

Kathryn O’Neill, Sociology & Demography

Caitlin Frazee, Bioengineering

Violet Ullman, Bioengineering

Kirby Sokolow, Religious Studies

Sam Schirvar, History and Sociology of Science

Sam Samore, English

Ross Perfetti, Anthropology

Zoe Fallon, History

George Lin, Psychology

Luella Allen-Waller, Biology

Jenny Lee, Annenberg

Andrew Bookbinder, Law

Lauren Perry, Law & Philosophy

Ethan Blackwood, Neuroscience

Daniel Feshbach, Computer and Information Science

Jordan Williams, Pharmacology

Emma Jacobs, History of Art

Ellis Buckminster, Mathematics

Apurva Prasad, Comparative Literature & South Asia Studies

Jimmy Kelliher, Biostatistics