OHSU grad students unionize with AFSCME

Graduate student teaching and research assistants at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) submitted a petition for union recognition to the Oregon Employment Relations Board Aug. 29. A clear majority of the 250 students signed authorization cards designating Oregon AFSCME as their union.

Graduate students conduct valuable research, but many feel more could be done to support their struggling colleagues.

“We’re building our union because we want to be recognized and respected for our work,” said Breanna Caruso, a  second year graduate-employee in the Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology Program, in a union press statement. “We’re not just advancing our education, we’re producing tangible contributions that benefit the university. It’s time that graduate students were fairly compensated for the value of our work.”

Once the union petition is certified, students will prepare to meet with OHSU administrators to discuss a host of ongoing issues, including equity and diversity on campus, available mental health services, and more.

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