Testimonials

Unionization elections will occur on Thursday, February 23 from 9:00am - 1:00pm and from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Elections will be held in the following departments of GSAS: East Asian Languages and Literatures, English, Geology and Geophysics, History, History of Art, Mathematics, Physics, Political Science, and Sociology. Click HERE to find maps of where voting will be held.


GPSS interviewed four students about graduate student unionization at Yale. Each student identified as either undecided (?), against unionization (No), in support of unionization (Yes), or as a professional student not involved with unionization (Professional).

Testimonials concerning graduate student unionization at Yale
What school are you in? Are you able to vote in the upcoming election?

GSAS. No, I cannot vote.
What school are you in? Are you able to vote in the upcoming election?

GSAS. No, I cannot vote.
What school are you in? Are you able to vote in the upcoming election?

A professional school. Yes, I can vote.
What school are you in? Are you able to vote in the upcoming election?

A professional school. No, I cannot vote.
What are your biggest concerns with graduate student life/resources?

I would like improved facilities and spaces. It's also unclear where funds go. Does one department get more money than others? Are the resources equal across departments?
What are your biggest concerns with graduate student life/resources?

Overall, I am pretty happy. But mentorship could be improved. Some sort of organized guidelines for faculty and students to have a productive mentorship relationship. An improved Dental Plan, improved childcare, and more grad school centered spaces would also be great.
What are your biggest concerns with graduate student life/resources?

I have a lot of concerns. The main concern that I’ve worked towards has been making sure people of all races and all genders are treated equally. I’m also concerned about adequate mental health services and making sure young parents have affordable childcare.
What are your biggest concerns with graduate student life/resources?

Access to healthcare services. Access to administration to make sure I have a voice – there is not a clear chain of command or access.
Do you think unionizing could solve these problems?

I don’t really know. The whole point of a union is to have bargaining rights, right? So maybe it’s good that all department unions can equally fight?
Do you think unionizing could solve these problems?

Maybe, but I haven't heard any details from Local 33 about how they'd solve these problems.
Do you think unionizing could solve these problems?

Yes. A union can make sure that grad students have a seat at the table and that their voices will be heard. A union will ensure that these issues will be taken seriously and addressed by the administration.
Do you think unionizing could solve these problems?

No, just another group that has a voice but doesn’t necessarily empower me.
How do you view the current campaign by Local 33 UNITE HERE (formerly known as GESO)?

The news says they’ve been very aggressive in the past and I hope it doesn’t get to that point again. I believe they have the right now to do what they want but hope that it won’t cause conflict with others.
How do you view the current campaign by Local 33 UNITE HERE (formerly known as GESO)?

I have not been targeted by their campaign, so I have no idea what they’re doing.
How do you view the current campaign by Local 33 UNITE HERE (formerly known as GESO)?

Every union meeting that I have been to and every conversation that I have had has been overwhelmingly positive. There is a lot of excitement and energy going towards this vote. This is something that my colleagues and predecessors have worked towards for a long time.
How do you view the current campaign by Local 33 UNITE HERE (formerly known as GESO)?

Their heart is in the right place, but there is a disconnect between their vision and how they are implementing it.
What concerns do you have about grad student unionization at Yale?

Worried about strikes. What happens if negotiations aren’t met. Strikes will affect the entire structure of the university, including those not part of the union.
What concerns do you have about grad student unionization at Yale?

I am concerned that 300 people from 9 departments are determining unionization at Yale, not only for them but for people who are not part of that cohort. This is a choice that will affect everyone, directly or indirectly, and I feel the choice should be up to everyone.
What concerns do you have about grad student unionization at Yale?

I don’t have any concerns.
What concerns do you have about grad student unionization at Yale?

Equally inclusive across all schools. Worried they will attract the people that are the loudest and are friends, but won’t give voices to different subgroups or schools.