The Pitt News

Nearly 800 Pitt grad students sign petition demanding funding extension

Grad union organizers
June 25, 2020
Pitt offered faculty a one-year tenure clock extension in March, and grad union organizers said they see a funding extension as equivalent assistance for them.

Labor board to hold hearing on proposed grad union ruling

Grad union organizers
February 18, 2020
Graduate students now have to wait until at least the end of May to see whether they will be granted a second chance to form a union.

Grad union organizers planning second election for this semester

Grad union organizers
February 3, 2020
After months of hearings, appeals and legal disputes between Pitt and graduate student union organizers, Pat Healy, an organizer and Ph.D. student, said the road to a possible graduate student union has been “tiring.”

Analysis: Comparing Pitt’s current Ballard Spahr spending with pre-unionization

Pitt’s annual payments to the legal firm Ballard Spahr began to increase in 2016, coinciding with the launch of the graduate and faculty union campaigns.
January 21, 2020
Since the graduate and faculty union campaigns launched in 2016, Pitt has paid more than $1.3 million to “union avoidance” legal giant Ballard Spahr — an average of $328,000 per year.

Pitt’s bill for ‘union avoidance’ law firm passes $1 million

Pitt’s Office of University Counsel paid Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr, a “union avoidance” law firm, $1,071,573 in fees between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, to provide legal support during the separate graduate student and faculty campaigns for unionization.
January 12, 2020
A “union avoidance” law firm continues to receive a large windfall of legal fees from Pitt, recently passing $1 million, according to University financial disclosure reports.

Grad union organizers hold demonstration on sky bridge

Grad union organizers hold signs against the windows of the Forbes Avenue sky bridge on Wednesday afternoon.
December 4, 2019
Grad union organizers pressed paper letters against the windows of the Forbes Avenue sky bridge Wednesday afternoon.

SGB passes resolution backing proposed PLRB grad union ruling

A resolution proposed by board member Eric Macadangdang calling on support for University labor and rights to organize without unlawful intrusion passed at last night’s meeting. It comes about a month after Pitt filed an exception to a ruling proposed by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board on Sept. 18, halting its orders.
November 20, 2019
Student Government Board unanimously passed a resolution at its Tuesday night meeting calling on support for University labor and rights to organize without unlawful intrusion.

Cudd says Pitt still considering options on proposed grad union ruling

Provost Ann Cudd maintained the University did not do anything wrong during April’s graduate student union election after a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board official ruled that Pitt committed unfair labor practices.
September 29, 2019
Provost Ann Cudd maintained the University did not do anything wrong during April’s graduate student union election.

Grad union organizers ready campaign for second election

Union organizer Kim Garrett addresses the crowd at Bernie Sanders’ rally in Schenley Plaza in April.
September 24, 2019
Just days after a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board official ruled that Pitt committed unfair labor practices during April’s graduate student union election and ordered a new election, union organizers said they are gearing up for a second election sometime this semester.

Grad students to vote on unionization this week

Grad students will vote on whether or not to establish a union between April 15 and 18.
April 14, 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.
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