Georgetown grad students vote to unionize

  • November 9, 2018
We don’t need no NLRB

Georgetown University graduate students voted overwhelmingly to unionize in an election held this week, according to announcements today from the student bargaining committee and university officials.  This election was overseen by the American Arbitration Association in order to keep the election review away from the National Labor Relations Board. Students were concerned the Board might disavow a previous Board ruling allowing graduate students to organize. 

Eighty-three percent of the 663 graduate employees who participated in the vote supported representation by a union, according to the announcement.

The Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, delivered to the administration today an intent to bargain letter. The “best possible” contract, the union said, would assure “a living wage, decent benefits and dignified working conditions.”

“We have a shared belief in the important role that graduate student assistants play at Georgetown and a shared commitment to giving them a stronger voice as members of our community,” GAGE, the American Federation of Teachers and Georgetown University officials said in a joint statement.


On November 5-8, an election will be held to determine whether Graduate Student Assistants at Georgetown University want to be represented by the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) for purposes of collective bargaining.  

Who Is Eligible to Vote in the Election?  
All Ph.D. and Master’s students actively enrolled in Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences graduate degree programs, who are serving or have served as Ph.D. Research Assistants, Ph.D. Teaching Assistants, Ph.D. Teaching Associates, Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Student Research Assistants, and/or Student Teaching Assistants during the Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and/or Fall 2018 semesters.

When Will the Election Be Held?
November 5, 6, 7, and 8, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where Will the Election Be Held?
You may vote at any of the following polling locations:

  • ICC – McGhee Library in SFS, on the 3rd floor, main level
  • Lauinger Library – Millennium Room
  • Medical Center – GF11 in the Preclinical Science Building  
  • Regents Hall – Conference Room 451  

map showing each of these polling locations is attached to this Notice.

How Will the Election be Conducted?
This will be a secret ballot election conducted by the American Arbitration Association.  

The election will be decided by a majority of those eligible Graduate Student Assistants who actually vote in the election.   

Electioneering will be prohibited within 100 feet of any voting location.

Can I Request an Absentee Ballot?  
You may request an absentee ballot if you are unable to be on campus on any of the dates and times listed above because you are participating in a University, School, or department-approved program or activity in the furtherance of your degree or because of work you perform on behalf of the University outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Absentee ballots must be requested no later than October 29, 2018, by sending an email to Maria Landi at the American Arbitration Association explaining why you cannot be on campus on any of the dates and times for the election: