It's been a busy few weeks since Provost Robert Groves and the Georgetown administration stated that we are not workers, that the hours we put into the classroom, in the laboratory, in hosting office hours and preparing syllabi, are strictly something we would do to further our own education as students, and provides no value to the institution.
GAGE fundamentally disagrees with this position, as does federal law as laid out in the 2016 NLRB ruling, and so does Georgetown's own Just Employment Policy (JEP). Based on Catholic teachings that compel the University to recognize the value all employees contribute, the JEP is clear in supporting the rights of workers to form a union. Georgetown cannot simply deny the reality that graduate workers have the rights to organize under federal law.
Georgetown's reluctance to follow their own principles has brought media attention to the Hilltop. With the support of many undergraduates, faculty, and alumni, GAGE members held a rally in Red Square with American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten to reaffirm our commitment to improving the lives of all graduate workers on campus. The event ended with a march to Provost Groves' office asking for neutrality and a fair election agreement.
GAGE welcomes the attention, including recent articles in Inside Higher Ed, and the Washington Post. Our hope is that with the spotlight turned on, Georgetown will do what's right and recognize our rights.