Indiana Daily Student

Graduate student government asks university administration to meet and discuss unionization

<p>Students walk past Sample Gates during the first day of classes Aug. 23, 2021. The IU Graduate and Professional Student Government asked to help mediate IU’s union recognition process of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition-United Electrical Workers.</p>

Students walk past Sample Gates during the first day of classes Aug. 23, 2021. The IU Graduate and Professional Student Government asked to help mediate IU’s union recognition process of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition-United Electrical Workers.

IU Graduate and Professional Student Government president Valentina Luketa sent a letter to IU administrators Tuesday proposing that the GPSG serve as a mediator to facilitate IU’s union recognition process of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition-United Electrical Workers.

The letter, addressed to Interim Provost John S. Applegate and Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Health Sciences David Daleke, referenced a resolution the GPSG General Assembly passed Friday encouraging graduate workers to unionize. The resolution also urged university administration to hold a union election for its graduate workers.

Luketa’s letter comes after Applegate sent a letter to the IGWC-UE on Feb. 1 denying the organization’s demand for union recognition and collective bargaining. Following his letter, IGWC-UE spokesperson Cole Nelson said graduate workers may go on strike if IU continues refusing to negotiate with the organization.

Luketa, who was one of the founders of the IGWC-UE, proposed in her letter to appoint a new sub-committee of GPSG representatives to meet with Applegate and Daleke on Monday.

“The graduate student body has endorsed unionization and we expect the Provost to respect their decision,” Luketa said in a GPSG press release following the letter. “The GPSG will do everything we can to facilitate a dialogue between the union and the Provost.”

GPSG communications coordinator Chelsey Belt said in an email that the GPSG Executive Committee meets with Daleke weekly or biweekly as needed, and last met with Applegate during the fall 2021 semester. She said the GPSG expects this professional relationship to continue.

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