U of M grad workers vote down unionization

Results released Monday show University of Minnesota graduate assistants have voted down an attempt to unionize over pay and working conditions.

Over the past two years, a group of teaching assistants, research assistants and other graduate student workers has campaigned with the help of the United Auto Workers.

But in last week's voting, 62 percent of those who cast ballots rejected the formation of a union. About two-thirds of the 4,400 graduate assistants voted.

Unionization movement spokesman Scott Thaller, a research assistant in physics, said he's disappointed. But he believes the drive will have implications for any future unionization efforts.

"The concept of having a greater voice or a seat at the table where these decisions are made, I think we certainly raised people's awareness of that," Thaller said.

He said it's the fifth time that graduate students have tried to unionize, and the fourth in the past 20 years.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.