Video message from Senator Elizabeth Warren
Video message from Allegheny County Councilman DeWitt Walton
Allegheny County Council Endorsement for Pitt Grad Union
Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation Endorsement for Pitt Grad Union
Dr. Jim Peterson
I support a graduate student union because the overriding purpose of a university is to garner scholarly prestige through training students, research productivity and various outreach programs. Of course, this has to be achieved on a sound financial basis to ensure long-term success of the institution and safeguard the future well-being of employees throughout their working lives and beyond. Graduate students and postdoctoral associates are short-term, non-permanent employees. Furthermore, most doctoral students and postdoctoral associates are typically net consumers of resources, they do not themselves directly generate income. Inevitably, this puts graduate students and postdoctoral associates in a vulnerable position, because any decisions affecting all employees are likely to favor those in permanent positions where any compromise is necessary. It is a frequently stated objective of both the university and individual departments to encourage a safe and nurturing working environment. Particularly if anybody feels bullied, threatened, or otherwise unfairly treated, membership of a union provides a collective voice to constructively discuss such matters with colleagues in a position to address the problem, without the concern that you may simply be ignored.
Dr. Marian Jarlenski, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management (Graduate School of Public Health)
Graduate student workers are an essential part of the world-class research that occurs at the University of Pittsburgh. As a PI and mentor to graduate students, I support the rights of graduate student workers to collectively negotiate fair pay and benefits. Graduate student workers must be protected from exploitation such as: working as a teaching assistant without compensation, being coerced to pursue a mentor’s research agenda for their own dissertation research, or facing sexual/gender based harassment or assault. The graduate student union will benefit student workers and faculty by protecting and promoting an equitable workplace.
Letter from Representative Doyle (PA-14) to Chancellor Gallagher and Pitt Board of Trustees in support of our union