On April 18-19, 2018, Harvard students serving in certain research and teaching positions cast votes to determine whether or not to be represented by the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers (HGSU-UAW). Of the 5,048 individuals who were eligible to vote in the election, 1,931 students (56% of voters) cast ballots for representation by the HGSU-UAW, while 1,523 (44% of voters) voted against representation. 1,594 eligible voters did not cast ballots in the election. These results, which were certified by the National Labor Relations Board, mean that HGSU-UAW is now the sole channel through which students in covered positions have a say on wages, benefits, appointments, work hours, and work conditions.
HGSU-UAW bargaining unit membership
The official definition of the HGSU-UAW bargaining unit is as follows:
“All students enrolled in Harvard degree programs employed by the Employer [Harvard] who provide instructional services at Harvard University, including graduate and undergraduate Teaching Fellows (teaching assistants, teaching fellows, course assistants); and all students enrolled in Harvard degree programs (other than undergraduate students at Harvard College) employed by the Employer who serve as Research Assistants (regardless of funding sources, including those compensated through Training Grants)...”
"All undergraduate students serving as research assistants, and all other employees, guards, and supervisors as defined in the [National Labor Relations] Act.”
The following student-held positions are generally considered to be within the scope of the bargaining unit:
Other instructional roles (e.g. lecturer, instructor) held by students in degree programs • Hourly-paid student research assistant (excluding undergraduate students)
- Graduate student research assistants—those students who are enrolled in graduate science and engineering programs who are receiving a stipend (or other compensation for their services—regardless of the source of the funds) and are performing research under the supervision of a faculty member.