UGSDW Election Outcome
I write to you about today’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announcement of the outcome of the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) union expansion election.
A total of 721 students were eligible to vote in the election. The early results, yet to be officially confirmed by the NLRB, counted 333 eligible ballots, with 327 voting for expansion and 6 voting against; while 6 ballots were deemed not eligible by the NLRB and 2 ballots were challenged.
Through a series of researched deliberations and negotiations earlier this year between Grinnell College and Union leaders, the College had previously announced that it would maintain neutrality and not contest the election.
Based upon the election outcome, the NLRB will issue a certification of results leading to the creation of a new bargaining unit. Collective bargaining, or the process of negotiating a contract detailing wages, hours, and terms and conditions of work, between the newly expanded Union and the College will commence after representatives from both parties have undertaken collective-bargaining training.
I want to thank the UGSDW leaders who had the insight, conviction, and courage to reach out and take the first steps to engage in the sustained dialogue with the College that helped pave the way for this process to successfully reach a neutrality agreement to govern the election process. The agreement contained many principles that will stand us in good stead for our future collective-bargaining processes.
I value the research, deliberative, and collaborative elements of our work together, which established a model for how our academic community might work through future issues and build trust. This election is also an opportunity for our College to more fully recognize that student employment is an important part of the undergraduate experience and to work together to acknowledge and support the value of that experience in our students’ lives.
I look forward to a productive relationship with the student union for many years to come.
Anne F. Harris