Let’s talk about unions

Open dialogue is needed before a graduate student union vote.

by Daily Editorial Board

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and the Council of Graduate Students have met resistance in their efforts to hold public meetings on the issue of graduate student unionization. Union supporters, according to those in GAPSA and COGS, have tried vigorously to delay resolutions calling for information sessions with University of Minnesota administration on the issue.

This board will not yet take a stand on the underlying issue of whether graduate students should form a union. But when it comes to making information about unionization readily available, we side with the graduate student governments.

Union supportersâÄô biggest point of contention with the public information meetings seems to be a distrust in the governments to remain unbiased and detached from the administration because they receive student fees funding. But COGSâÄôs resolution makes it clear the organization will not take a stand either for or against a union right now. It simply wants to start a public dialogue about the pros and cons of forming a union.

But thatâÄôs a discussion union supporters seem unwilling to allow. This was evident April 11, when supporters walked out of an information session with University administrators without listening to their message. Add to that their attempts to stonewall the COGS and GAPSA information session resolutions, and it appears as if union supporters are fighting to stifle a part of the unionization process that is absolutely necessary.

On an issue as important as this, more information is required for people to make their own thorough, complete decisions. Union supporters are hurting themselves and their fellow students by opposing this public dialogue.