IGWC-EU meets with graduates task force, calls for union recognition to be put on the agenda – The Bloomingtonian

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian on Monday by the Indiana Grad Workers Coalition:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IGWC-EU meets with graduate working group and calls for union recognition to be put on the agenda
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. [July 18, 2022] – Indiana Graduate Workers Members
Coalition-United Electrical Workers (IGWC-UE) today formally demanded that the union
recognition be put on the agenda of the Indiana University Bloomington task force on the future
of higher education.

Union recognition emerged as a key issue in response to long-standing concerns about
working conditions of graduate students on campus. In spring 2022, more than 1,000 graduate workers
at IU Bloomington went on strike for union recognition. Graduate workers give lessons, run
laboratories, conduct research and work in studios. Coalition members claim that unfair labor
conditions adversely affect undergraduate education, graduate worker well-being, and the university
competitiveness.

The IGWC-EU currently represents over 1,800 graduate workers at IU Bloomington who
plan to hold a vote to authorize a strike in the fall if the union is not recognized.
IGWC-EU members have always been clear that all proposed solutions that do not include a
path to union recognition are unacceptable.
While the senior administration has so far refused to officially recognize the union, IU Provost
Rahul Shrivastav convened a working group in April to discuss the future of higher education on
the Bloomington campus. IGWC-EU representatives met with the working group on Monday,
and formally requested that union recognition be placed on the agenda of their next meeting.
Reunion Participant and Coalition Member Peter Cho, Ph.D. student at Jacobs School of Music
said: “Graduate workers on campus have made it clear that union recognition is key to earning a degree
education. The university administration must ensure that this is part of the objectives of the working group.
conversation.”

Several other groups of graduate students were also invited to the task force meeting, including
the African American and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Association and the School of Media
Association of Graduates. In an e-mail, the executive members of the MSGA responded to the invitation by
declaring the association’s support for the unionization of graduates and asking that the
the administration engages the IGWC-EU with the goal of union recognition in mind.

About IGWC-EU
Graduate workers are employed as associate instructors, research assistants, graduates
Faculty assistants and assistants on the Bloomington campus. They teach hundreds of
classes as primary instructors, conduct research in laboratories, and perform as artists and musicians.
IGWC-EU submitted nearly 1,600 union membership cards to the board requesting a
union election in December 2021. The Commission rejected this request. The union is now demanding
more than 1,800 members among the 2,500 graduate employees.
United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (EU) is an independent,
democratic union representing some 30,000 employees in a variety of industries. EU
motto is: “The members run this union.

For other questions and correspondence, contact Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition
media correspondent Katie Shy ([email protected]919-622-8648).

Social media:
https://www.facebook.com/IndianaGrads/
https://www.twitter.com/indianagrads
https://www.instagram.com/indianagrads/

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The IGWC-EU also sent the following press release last week:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IUB-AAUP Opposes Fall Semester Contingency Plan Guidelines, IGWC-EU Calls
Right to refuse execution

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. [July 13, 2022] — The American Association of University Teachers
Bloomington chapter dissented from Indiana University directive
administration asking professors to make “contingency plans” for the upcoming fall semester
and pending the strike of the graduates.

A resolution adopted by the IUB-AAUP calls on professors not to make such plans and asks the IU
administration to honor the overwhelming vote of IU Bloomington faculty in May in favor of
unionization of graduates.

Nora Weber, Ph.D. sociology candidate and IGWC-EU member, said contingency plans
threaten academic freedom and shared governance, and create additional and unnecessary unpaid expenses
labor for faculty and staff. “The faculty has repeatedly, clearly and democratically expressed its support
for our union, and this resolution underscores that commitment,” she added.

The IGWC-UE echoes the demands of the IUB-AAUP that faculty members refuse to create or
apply contingency plans or engage in other activities designed to weaken the effects of a job
stop. The IGWC-EU also asks professors to refuse to participate in any formal or informal activity.
meetings with IU administration regarding graduate worker appointments. Weber explains: “We
are disappointed that the IUB administration continues to pressure faculty and undermine
shared governance.

Jared Meisinger, a Ph.D. student at the media school and IGWC-EU member agreed, adding that
the plans ignore the fact that the work of graduate workers is fundamental to IU’s stability. “These
contingency plan mandates are impossible. Graduate labor is required to manufacture IU Bloomington
run,” Meisinger said.

The IUB-AAUP resolution also responds to instructions from the IU administration that the faculty
and graduate students must adhere to the new supervision plans, indicating that the protocols are focused on
“surveillance and control rather than trust and professionalism.” He argues that faculty and
graduate workers cannot be mandated to use specific learning management systems such as
Cloth.

-After

The resolution asserts that the wording of new contracts for graduate workers, such as threats of
withhold salary and health insurance, responds only to the spring 2022 graduate strike and
does not address any concerns of IU Bloomington faculty or graduates. During the
spring strike, more than 1,000 graduate workers at the IU Bloomington campus suspended work for four
weeks for union recognition.

The IGWC-EU announced a strike reauthorization vote no later than September 26, 2022, expected
the IU administration does not recognize the union.

“If IU’s administration and board of trustees really care about undergraduate and graduate students
education and livelihoods of the people who make up the IU community, they will recognize
our union and avoid another strike,” Sabina Ali, Ph.D. student in religious studies and
said a member of the IGWC-EU.
About IGWC-EU
Graduate workers are employed as associate instructors, research assistants, graduates
Faculty assistants and assistants on the Bloomington campus. They teach hundreds of
classes as primary instructors, conduct research in laboratories, and perform as artists and musicians.
IGWC-EU submitted nearly 1,600 union membership cards to the board requesting a
union election in December 2021. The Commission rejected this request. The union is now demanding
more than 1,800 members among the 2,500 graduate employees.
United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (EU) is an independent,
democratic union representing some 30,000 employees in a variety of industries. EU
motto is: “The members run this union.

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