Local 33's tactics go beyond harassment to include: an election strategy designed to silence the majority of graduate students, disrupting student events, and jeopardizing New Haven tax dollars.
The departments that Local 33 is trying to unionize are presumably the only departments Local 33 believes it can win. The strategy is a blatant display of gerrymandering, trying to suppress the perspective of the vast majority of graduate students. The graph below demonstrates that many graduate students do not support Local 33 in its current form. Should these departments vote to unionize, it will have a ripple effect across the entire graduate school even though many students were never given the opportunity to have a voice.
This strategy only works if Local 33 demands each department is its own unique bargaining unit. This is the opposite of what a union is supposed to do. Their divide and conquer strategy works well to give its leaders power, but does nothing to bring together or ‘unionize’ grad students as a whole and creates unnecessary and confusing situations in which a student could be part of a microunit, teach in another and use resources allocated to another microunit (or none). Local 33 would be asking to potentially bargain 67 different contracts, one for each department. That is highly impractical for any company or university.
For example, consider our health plan. Suppose ten departments unionized and negotiated a health care plan. At worst, now there is a patchwork of different costs and resources available to grad students which is incredibly inefficient, confusing, a waste of money, and would cause even longer wait times and red tape at Yale Health. At best, Yale would apply the negotiated health plan to all of us that haven’t unionized. Then, what we have is a minority of departments negotiating the health plan for the entire graduate school with no department beyond these ten having any say. This, combined with the strategy to deliberately marginalize departments opposed to Local 33, show a lack of respect for students' voices among Local 33 leadership. Effective unions work best when they are inclusive and leadership listens to everybody affected by their decisions.
Therefore, we call on Local 33 to hold a single election for all 67 departments to include the entire graduate school, making a true union of students - if that is what students desire.
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Disrupting Student Life
"The unions claim that it is not their intent to disrupt student life at Yale, but that is exactly what Yale’s union leadership is doing, and triumphantly so. Old Campus and the streets surrounding it were a madhouse last week as freshmen and their parents moved in, and during all of this union leaders boasted that their threats to disrupt convocation — one of the most memorable moments of freshman year — led to the event’s postponement to a date when many parents will not even be able to attend. In addition, because the residential college dining halls are closed, freshmen aren’t getting the opportunity to meet other students or feel a part of their college communities."
- Source: Yale Daily News
Jeopardizing New Haven Tax Dollars to Stall Construction of the Biology Building
"Alders backed by Yale’s UNITE HERE unions have held up that plan for a half year by invoking a newly amended city ordinance requiring that they approve an OPP whenever Yale embarks on a major building project, even if (as in this case) the project includes no parking changes... Alders said they were doing so to press Yale to address widespread frustration in New Haven over university employees hogging neighborhood street parking spaces. “We heard the cry of the city,” Newhallville Alder Dlephine Clyburn remarked before casting her yes vote. Yale and business community backers claimed the unions have been using the parking issue as a pretext, hijacking a project that will create 280 construction jobs and send $4.4 million or more in building fees into city coffers in order to press unrelated campus labor concerns."
- Source: New Haven Independent