Syracuse Graduate Employees United wins election agreement with SU

Syracuse Graduate Employees United wins election agreement with SU

The agreement came less than a month after the organization staged a march on campus to deliver the request letter.
Published: March 2, 2023
Hayden Courtney, a PhD student and TA in Maxwell, rallies the graduate student employees to form a recognized union in their March of Recognition on Wednesday Feburary 8, 2023. (Photo by Joohee Na)
The agreement will allow graduate students to vote for union recognition, which they marched across campus for last month.

In a victory for Syracuse Graduate Employees United, the university formally announced their agreement with the organization to conduct a graduate student union election.

According to an email sent out on Wednesday evening, Vice Chancellor and Provost Gretchen Ritter said that the university has held “productive conversations” with the organization, as well as Service Employees International Union Local 200United (SEIU) over the past weeks. These talks led to an agreement to hold a campaign and election this semester for recognition of their union.

“We believe this agreement provides a fair and expeditious process to determine whether a majority of eligible graduate students wishes to unionize and select SEIU as its exclusive bargaining representative,” Ritter said in the email.

In a post across their social media platforms, SGEU celebrated the decision, calling it a major victory that “speaks to the power we have as graduate student employees.” They added that their next moves would involve holding said election, and advised their followers to keep an eye out for information regarding the dates and times.

The agreement comes less than a month after hundreds of SGEU members and their supporters held a march on campus to deliver a letter to Ritter that requested voluntary recognition of their union. In the open letter, the organization said that they were seeking to improve working conditions for graduate student workers through better pay and benefits.

While there was no timeline announced for the election, Ritter also said that students will continue to be updated as the process occurs.