GSRA Organizing Effort

Feb. 21, 2012

The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted 6-2 to adopt the following resolution:

The University of Michigan hereby states its opposition to the adoption of SB 971.

Cynthia Wilbanks, Vice President for Government Relations, is to take all available action in opposition to the adoption of SB 971 into law and is to articulate the University of Michigan’s opposition to SB 971 before the Legislature, and if necessary, before the Office of the Governor.

The term “all available action” is to include, but is not limited to, testimony, development of position papers and retention of lobbyists.

The Vice President of Government Relations is to report on a regular and continuing basis to the Board through the Chair of the Board or her designee on the progress of the opposition to SB 971.

Dec. 19, 2011

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission has released its written decision that orders a hearing on the question of whether graduate student research assistants are university employees under state labor law.

In its decision MERC also denied motions to intervene in the matter from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Students Against GSRA Unionization.

Sept. 16, 2011

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission’s written ruling, received today, is consistent with the decisions announced Aug. 8. MERC dismissed the representation petition filed by GEO/AFT-MI on April 27, 2011. The decision also denied the motion to intervene filed by an individual graduate student.

May 19, 2011

The American Federation of Teachers/Michigan (AFT/MI) and the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) have filed a petition with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) to conduct an election to determine if GEO will represent GSRAs as their collective bargaining agent.

GEO, which is affiliated with AFT/MI, is seeking to represent GSRAs under a collective bargaining agreement that would govern the terms and conditions of employment for all GSRAs. GEO is the union that represents graduate student instructors (GSIs) and graduate student staff assistants (GSSAs) on the U-M campuses.

The U-M Board of Regents, during the May 19 meeting in Dearborn, voted 6-2 to approve the following resolution:

“Consistent with the University of Michigan’s proud history of strong positive and mutually productive labor relations, the Board of Regents supports the rights of university Graduate Student Research Assistants, whom we recognize as employees, to determine for themselves whether they choose to organize.”

Based on the approved resolution, the university will move forward in collaboration with AFT/MI and MERC to define the bargaining unit and come to an agreement on the election process.

Guidelines for university representatives

Information about GSRAs

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