A delegation of graduate employees, student allies, and representatives of unions at Portland State University delivered a letter to PSU President Wim Wiewel Feb. 1 calling on the university to remain neutral in the efforts of a newly formed Graduate Employees Union to organize, rather than spend university funds in an effort to delay the process.
Citing the increasingly high cost of living in Portland, the graduate employees are organizing their union to address issues with their employment, in particular their compensation, which presents a hindrance to their ability to work effectively as academic employees at the university.
PSU employs over 800 graduate employees who teach courses, provide administrative support, and perform other essential academic duties like mentoring students and grading exams.
Graduate employees at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University are unionized, allowing them to negotiate together and address issues similar to what is happening at PSU.
The Graduate Employees Union of PSU is affiliated with both the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors.