Election Update: We delivered our intent to file!

On Monday we notified Georgetown of our intention to file for an election with the American Arbitration Association (AAA). This means we have initiated the process to have an election for our union this fall.

This is a great day for every graduate worker at Georgetown. If you have been waiting for this announcement to get more involved with our campaign, now is the perfect time to volunteer to become a Vote “Yes” captain (VYC), a poll watcher, or a department organizer (DO) 

An election only represents the end of the beginning for us. Our ultimate goal is to negotiate the best possible contract for graduate workers at Georgetown, one that truly values our contributions to the university as teachers, researchers, and graduate assistants. That’s why we want to win this election with the largest possible majority because we know that it will strengthen our position at the bargaining table. We are having every member fill out a Priorities Survey so each of our voices can be heard.

Although we cannot predict the exact form the administration’s response to our announcement will take, we know that as long as we stand together we will prevail. No employer wants to cede power over important topics such as sexual harassment and misconduct, stipends and hourly wages, health insurance, parental and family leave, and international worker support to their workers, and the past year has shown us that Georgetown is no exception. But, whenever the administration has tried to deny our right to decide for ourselves whether we want a union or to change the terms of our employment without any warning, we have seen time and again that our unity gives us strength and power.   

This development comes after more than a year of intensive organizing, during which we have spoken with doctoral and master’s students across campus about their experiences as graduate workers at Georgetown, That’s why it is important for graduate workers to get involved in our campaign. We will be contacting every GAGE member individually in the coming days, and we need everyone to help however they can. 

Two easy ways to get involved:

1You can start by completing your Priorities Survey.

2. Volunteer to become a poll watcher, a Vote “Yes” captain, or a department organizer.

In Solidarity,

The GAGE Organizing Committee

We Signed An Election Agreement!

Organizing works.

Since GAGE announced that a majority of graduate workers at Georgetown supported the formation of a graduate union five months ago, we have repeatedly seen what we can achieve when we join together to fight for our interests. We saw it last November, when we mobilized with thousands of graduate students across the United States to oppose the Grad Student Tax. We saw it again less than a month later, when we gathered on Red Square to demand that Georgetown recognize our moral and legal right to decide for ourselves whether we want a union. Our efforts ultimately convinced the administration to begin negotiations with GAGE for a union election through the American Arbitration Association (AAA).

Today, we are happy to announce that GAGE-AFT and Georgetown have signed an agreement to hold a graduate unionization election under the auspices of the AAA. This agreement, the first of its kind between a private university and a graduate union in the United States, guarantees that, when we win, the administration will come to the table and bargain with us on the issues that matter to graduate workers at Georgetown, including wages, health care, family leave policy, fee and tuition waivers, and grievance procedures. To find out more about our agreed upon mandatory subjects of bargaining check them out here. This is not an exhaustive list of things we will bargain over, it's just the first step.

It is hard to exaggerate the significance of this agreement for graduate workers both at Georgetown and across the nation. Just five months ago, Georgetown denied that we were workers and refused to bargain with us for a union election. The administration also signaled its willingness to ask President Trump’s anti-labor appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to overturn the 2016 decision allowing graduate workers to unionize. Today’s agreement with Georgetown is the direct result of the pressure that we have exerted together with our community allies through rallies, petitions, flyering, social media, and other actions. This agreement not only lives up to Georgetown’s commitment to just employment but also sets a precedent that graduate unions at other private universities across the country can follow as they continue their battle for recognition. Again, organizing works.

Of course, an election agreement is not the same as a contract. And while we will celebrate this victory and the end of the semester at a barbecue at TBD on Friday, April 20, there is still plenty of work ahead. We need a big turnout for the election to place us in the strongest possible position for bargaining. That means motivating every one of our members to show up at the polls and vote “Yes.” Consequently, we will continue to build our support among graduate workers and reach out to faculty, alumni, undergraduate students, and other members of the Georgetown community. To help GAGE win its election campaign, you can either talk to your department organizer or email us at GAGEorganizing@gmail.com.

In the meantime, though, let’s celebrate!

National Graduate Worker Organizing Shift

National Graduate Worker Organizing Shift

On March 16, 2018, The Presidents of four major unions - The American Federation of Teachers, Service Employees International Union, United Autoworkers, and UNITE Here - signed a letter uniting together around graduate worker unionization efforts across the United States.
When asked what efforts they may look to, AFT President Randi Weingarten “cited Georgetown University’s recent decision to negotiate terms of a graduate student union election outside NLRB channels.”

National Student Walkout

Today, we take a brief moment of reflection to think critically on the safety of the students that we teach, advise, mentor, and instruct in our labs. 

Today, at 10am, Georgetown students walked out of their classes for 17 minutes, raising their voices and demanding change on the one month anniversary of the Parkland tragedy. We have the right to work and teach in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in our classrooms or on our way home from school.

We stand in full solidarity with our undergraduates across the United States in demanding that this issue is not forgotten, that real change happens, and that this real change comes from uniting together and letting our collective voices be heard. 


Our Organizing is Working!

Our Organizing is Working!

On February 1st, Georgetown expressed its desire to GAGE to come to terms on a private election agreement that would not be controlled by any National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision regarding graduate students’ employee status under the National Labor Relations Act.  This is a major step forward in our negotiations with Georgetownand it wouldn’t have been possible without all of your hard work.