The Pitt News

Pitt paid almost $240K to “union avoidance” law firm in recent years

Pitt paid almost $240K to “union avoidance” law firm in recent years

By Jon Moss, News Editor

May 14, 2019

A “union avoidance” law firm received a large windfall of legal fees from Pitt, according to previously unreported University financial disclosure reports.

Grad students vote against unionization, organizers reissue call for new election

Grad students vote against unionization, organizers reissue call for new election

By Jon Moss and Neena Hagen

May 3, 2019

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board officially declared Friday morning that the majority of graduate students at Pitt voted against unionization in the April 15-18 election.

Grad union organizers call for new election, accuse Pitt of “unfair labor practices”

Grad union organizers call for new election, accuse Pitt of “unfair labor practices”

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer

May 2, 2019

Less than a week ago, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board declared the grad student unionization vote inconclusive. Now, organizers are calling on the board to set aside those election results and schedule a new election.

After years-long campaign, grad students await outcome of union vote

After years-long campaign, grad students await outcome of union vote

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer

April 18, 2019

Organizers wearing pro-union T-shirts high-fived and cheered for the last few dozen graduate students as they trickled into the second-floor ballroom of the O’Hara Student Center Thursday afternoon to cast their votes in the union election. They were celebrating the culmination of a years-long campaign t...

Grad students to vote on unionization this week

Grad students to vote on unionization this week

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer

April 15, 2019

After several years of campaigning, rallying and dealing with University opposition, Pitt’s graduate students will vote on whether or not to form a union this week.

Elizabeth Warren “100% behind” Pitt grad student union

Elizabeth Warren “100% behind” Pitt grad student union

By Emily Wolfe, Assistant News Editor

April 9, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., encouraged the union hopefuls in a short video posted to social media Tuesday.

Grad students will decide union question starting April 15

Grad students will decide union question starting April 15

By Joanna Li, News Editor

March 25, 2019

PLRB announced on Thursday the dates and times of polling locations on campus. The election is intended to allow more than 2,000 graduate students to vote to join a union. In order to form a union, a simple majority of the grad student population, or more than 50 percent, needs to vote yes.

Pitt attempting to obstruct grad student union election, organizers claim

Pitt attempting to obstruct grad student union election, organizers claim

By Emily Wolfe, Assistant News Editor

March 12, 2019

The United Steelworkers and the Graduate Student Organizing Committee expressed disappointment Tuesday in what they called Pitt’s attempts at “voter suppression.”

Labor board affirms Pitt grad students have right to unionize

Labor board affirms Pitt grad students have right to unionize

By Brian Gentry, Joanna Li, and Emily Wolfe

March 7, 2019

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled Thursday that Pitt’s graduate student employees are entitled to unionize, a step forward in graduate students’ multi-year battle to form a union.

Pitt faculty see future in union

Pitt faculty see future in union

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer

February 6, 2019

To most passersby, the fliers, posters and comics adorning the office doors in the narrow corridors on the fourth floor of the Cathedral of Learning blend in with the rest of campus. But for Tyler McAndrew, a visiting lecturer in the English department and prominent faculty union organizer, the posters th...

Pitt grad students deserve right to unionize

Pitt grad students deserve right to unionize

By Delilah Bourque, Senior Staff Columnist

October 17, 2018

Graduate students may be here for an education, but at universities, including Pitt, grad students don’t just function as scholars, but employees as well. They should have the right to unionize.

University Senate Council talks grad student unions, Campus Master Plan and mental health

University Senate Council talks grad student unions, Campus Master Plan and mental health

By Madeline Gavatorta, Staff Writer

October 11, 2018

University Senate Council engaged in conversation with the Graduate Student Organizing Committee at Wednesday's meeting.

Graduate students make their case for unionization

Graduate students make their case for unionization

By Janine Faust, Managing Editor

October 9, 2018

After a week of testimony in front of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, the administration could not present all its witnesses in the original time frame allotted to them by the board.

Faculty show support for unionization

Faculty show support for unionization

By Madeline Gavatorta | Staff Writer

January 23, 2018

Jennifer Lee, a senior English lecturer at Pitt for the last two decades, said it was luck and allies in the tenure faculty that got her the job she currently holds — and she remembers realizing how privileged she was compared to faculty who don’t have those benefits. “My very good friend and colleague — who...

Toomey’s got mail: Grad students deliver letters

Toomey’s got mail: Grad students deliver letters

By Rachel Glasser | News Editor

December 7, 2017

The Grinch is best known for stealing Christmas, but he left Whoville and showed up on the doorstep of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s Downtown office Wednesday. It was a blustery day, windy and in the low 40s, but Ph.D. epidemiology student Abby Cartus attributed the conditions to something other than ...

Union organizers talk tax bill, moving forward

Union organizers talk tax bill, moving forward

By Remy Samuels | Staff Writer

December 4, 2017

Graduate students sexually harassed or assaulted by a faculty member have the option to file a claim with the Title IX office.But Hillary Lazar said a graduate student union would help hold Title IX and the University accountable, pressing the office and the administration to investigate these types ...

Pitt faculty, grads present political support for unions

Pitt faculty, grads present political support for unions

By Janine Faust | Assistant News Editor

September 13, 2017

As grad students and faculty gathered outside Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s door in the Cathedral of Learning Tuesday afternoon, a Pitt police officer cut a path to the front and addressed the crowd. “Who’s in charge here? Where’s your leader?” he asked the people clutching signs and came...

Union supporters convene at cookout

Union supporters convene at cookout

By Janine Faust | Assistant News Editor

September 4, 2017

Abby Cartus figured celebrating Labor Day surrounded by fellow union organizers and supporters was a good way to kick off the academic year. “Everybody’s just here to chill out and reconnect after being away for the summer,” Cartus said. “Then we’ll buckle back down on organizing.” Ca...

Student organizers react to admin’s union oppositon

Student organizers react to admin’s union oppositon

By Kirsten Wong and John Hamilton / The Pitt News Staff

August 30, 2017

Rachel Coombs was conducting research in a biology lab in late July when she found herself enraged by an email from Pitt Provost Patricia Beeson. Coombs, a Ph.D. student studying biological sciences, read Beeson’s letter outlining the Pitt administration’s opposition to the grad student union eff...

Letter to the Editor | There is no third party. We, the students, are the union

Letter to the Editor | There is no third party. We, the students, are the union

By Beth Shaaban / PhD student

July 30, 2017

Surprise! I just returned from presenting some of my research at a conference to a union busting email from the provost. One of my personal favorite lines: “The education, not the financial support, is the goal of graduate study.” Buckle up kids, if you can’t afford your medications, rent, food ...

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