Respect is one of the driving issues behind PSU graduate employees’ decision to seek unionization. Disappointingly, once again graduate employees feel as though our concerns and issues are being ignored by the PSU administration.
Last month, after filing for a union election with the state, Penn State’s Coalition of Graduate Employees delivered a letter calling for the university administration to not interfere with the right of Penn State’s graduate employees to hold a fair election to unionize. Though President Barron was not in his office, we delivered the letter to his assistant and were promised a meeting with the president. After three emails attempting to secure a meeting over the course of three weeks, President Barron’s office has yet to meet with us.
Our union movement values open and ongoing dialogue with university administration, and we hope to begin this relationship as soon as possible. Further, we seek a dialogue in which both parties come together as equals. We hope to avoid the interference experienced by graduate employees unionizing at other universities.
CGE remains willing to meet with President Barron before the end of the semester to discuss the administration’s commitment to not interfere with our vote to unionize. As graduate employees at Penn State, we remain committed to the values that drove us to organize in the first place: respect, dialogue and the democratic process.
Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, State College