The Pitt News

PLRB dismisses grad union complaints, upholds 2019 vote against unionization

PLRB dismisses grad union complaints, upholds 2019 vote against unionization

By Rebecca Johnson, News Editor March 1, 2021
The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled in Pitt’s favor on Friday in an ongoing dispute stemming from the April 2019 election in which graduate students voted against unionization by roughly 40 votes.
Pitt’s Office of University Counsel paid Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr $881,069 in fees between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 to contest simultaneous but separate unionization attempts by faculty and graduate students.

Steelworkers calls on Pitt to ‘end its anti-union campaign’ against faculty, grad students

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief January 29, 2021
The United Steelworkers union is calling on Pitt to “end its anti-union campaign” against the efforts by faculty and grad students to unionize at the University.
Grad union organizers

Nearly 800 Pitt grad students sign petition demanding funding extension

By Benjamin Nigrosh, New Editor 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.
Grad union organizers

Labor board to hold hearing on proposed grad union ruling

By Neena Hagen and Jon Moss 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

Grad union organizers planning second election for this semester

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer February 4, 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.”
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.

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

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer January 22, 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 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.

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

By Jon Moss, News Editor 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 signs against the windows of the Forbes Avenue sky bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

Grad union organizers hold demonstration on sky bridge

By Benjamin Nigrosh, Staff Writer December 4, 2019
Grad union organizers pressed paper letters against the windows of the Forbes Avenue sky bridge Wednesday afternoon.
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.

SGB passes resolution backing proposed PLRB grad union ruling

By Emily Drzymalski, Staff Writer 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.
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.

Cudd says Pitt still considering options on proposed grad union ruling

By Jon Moss, Assistant News Editor September 29, 2019
Provost Ann Cudd maintained the University did not do anything wrong during April’s graduate student union election.
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