RAs to hold unionization election next week

Updated: April 25, 2017 at 10:34 p.m.

GW resident advisers will vote next Wednesday to determine whether or not to unionize, organizers confirmed Tuesday.

A labor board ruled Friday that RAs at private universities are employees and have the right to formally organize, originally setting the election date for May 5.

Calla Gilson, one of the unionization organizers and a former RA in Shenkman and Somers halls, said Friday that organizers were trying to push the election date to May 17, after final exams.

She said the National Labor Relations Board set the date Monday night and that it is no longer negotiable.

If more than 50 percent of RAs who participate in Wednesday’s election vote to unionize, the advisers will form a union and collectively bargain their employment contracts with the University.

Gilson said there will be places for RAs to vote on both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses. The locations will be open for several time slots throughout the day, she said.

GW RAs partnered with a local labor group last year and filed a petition to unionize in November. RAs said they were unsure what actions could cause them to be fired and that they wanted to negotiate clearer contracts.

The University appealed the petition and contested efforts to organize, saying that RAs are not GW employees. The NLRB heard the case Dec. 7.

Ahead of the vote, organizers of the unionization movement are hosting a series of town halls with RAs this week to give information about the effort and address concerns with the movement.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.