A co-chairman of U Penn’s graduate student union, GET-UP, calls on Penn’s leadership to let the ballots from ther election be counted:
Our movement is part of a larger pushback against the structural reform under way in the academic labor market. For several decades now, universities have been replacing full-time, tenure-track faculty with part-time instructors and graduate employees. Like adjunct faculty, graduate employees suffer unprofessional working conditions, crummy salaries and virtually no job security. We have little recourse if the terms of our employment are arbitrarily changed, and we have no grievance procedure if we’re harassed or abused.
We had hoped that President Rodin’s new willingness to engage with GET-UP would bring this impasse to resolution. But despite an atmosphere of cordiality and some stimulating discussion at the mid-December meeting GET-UP’s leadership held with President Rodin, the song remains the same: Penn’s graduate employees voted in a democratic election, and College Hall continues to abuse the loopholes in labor law to deny our basic rights.
The legal limbo in which graduate students at Penn, Brown, and Columbia find themselves is exactly the one which Levin has committed himself to inflict on Yale graduate students should an NLRB vote be held. While he’s argued for an NLRB process over the Card Count Neutrality on the grounds that “democracy means voting,” Levin continues to act as though he’s forgotten that democracy means counting, and following, the results of the vote.