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Northwestern Graduate Assistants Form Union

January 17, 2023

Graduate assistants at Northwestern University voted last week to form a union, 1,644 to 114. Some 2,893 assistants were eligible to vote. The new union is affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. Kathleen Hagerty, provost, and Kelly Mayo, graduate school dean, said in a statement, “We thank the voters for casting ballots and respect their decision. We look forward to beginning the process of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement that works for both the University and graduate students within the bargaining unit.”

The election results are part of a larger trend toward graduate assistant unions at private institutions; graduate assistants at Yale University also announced earlier this month that they’d voted to form a union, for instance.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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