Let grad students vote on union

Voting on unionization is a fairer and more democratic process.

Kathryn F. Brown, vice president for the Office of Human Resources

In a commentary published in the Feb. 16 Minnesota Daily, State Rep. Tom Rukavina asserts that, based upon the number of union cards filed with the Bureau of Mediation Services, the University of Minnesota should simply agree to recognize the United Auto Workers as the union representing our graduate assistants.

We disagree.

The filing of cards with the BMS begins a process through which all of our graduate assistants will have the chance to vote to determine whether   to be represented by the UAW and become union members.

Not all graduate assistants signed cards, but all will be impacted by this important decision and all deserve a voice.

The greatest respect we can show anyone in a democracy is to give them the opportunity to vote.

To put a union in place without giving all graduate assistants a chance to express their view with a vote would be disrespectful.

Should a majority of those who vote elect union representation, we will take the next step suggested by Rukavina, which is to collectively bargain.

The University fully supports the union election process provided by state law. It is imperative that all graduate assistants have the opportunity to engage in this process, stay informed of key issues and above all, vote.