Princeton Graduate Students United (PGSU) — a group that began efforts to form a graduate-student union in late 2015 — has put its push for unionization on hold following the appointment of two Republican members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by President Donald Trump. The appointments shifted the balance of power on the board from Democrats to Republicans.
“It’s unclear whether or not an NLRB regional board would even hear a petition to hold a union election at this time,” said Robert Decker, a fourth-year graduate student in the French and Italian department. “We’ve decided to wait until the situation becomes more clear before continuing with an authorization drive.”
PGSU voted to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers and its state affiliate, AFT New Jersey, in 2015. The next step toward unionization for the group would be the distribution of union-authorization cards to graduate students.
Decker said PGSU has turned its attention toward “fighting for tangible and beneficial changes” in areas such as the University’s sexual-harassment policy, housing reform for graduate students, and support for graduate students with families. The group’s long-term goal remains “legal recognition as a union so that we may engage in collective bargaining with the University,” he said.