BLOOMINGTON – City of Bloomington Common Council will meet in regular session at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The council will meet to address Resolution 22-10
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE INDIANA GRADUATE WORKERS COALITION – UNITED ELECTRICAL WORKERS
WHEREAS, Indiana University graduate student employees have organized through the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition – United Electrical Workers (IGWC-UE) to raise concerns regarding compensation and fees, raises, benefits, equity for international graduate workers, and a formal grievance procedure. For example, the Coalition points out that for six years between 2014 and 2020, the vast majority of graduate employees at Indiana University did not receive a raise, while graduate student fees, especially those levied upon international graduate workers, have continued to increase. To this day many graduate Student Academic Appointees do not earn sufficient compensation to pay living expenses; and
WHEREAS, after repeated attempts to increase stipends and reduce fees have failed, the IGWC-UE has pursued unionization of graduate student employees at Indiana University following the university’s Human Resources policy on Conditions for Cooperation Between Employee Organizations and the Administration of IU; and
WHEREAS, through the IGWC-UE’s organizing efforts, more than 1,750 of approximately 2,500 Indiana University graduate workers have signed union cards indicating they want to be represented by the union, representing a supermajority of the intended bargaining unit; and
WHEREAS, the Provost of the Indiana University Bloomington campus, Rahul Shrivastav, and the President of Indiana University, Pamela Whitten, have refused to recognize the graduate workers union or negotiate with IGWC-UE to try to address their concerns, refusing to recognize graduate workers within their existing HR policy on employee organizations; and
WHEREAS, 97.8% of the IGWC-UE members who voted were in favor of a strike, which began on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 and which has far-reaching impacts on the university as a whole, and by extension, on the Bloomington community; and
WHEREAS, Indiana University graduate student workers are essential members of the Bloomington community who often struggle financially while trying to pursue their studies despite their employment as Student Academic Appointees, and equitable graduate worker pay is in the best interests of the city’s economic and
social well-being; and
WHEREAS, all workers should have the right to unionize in order to gain a seat at the table to advocate for their well-being as employees, and such employee organization is recognized in Indiana University’s HR policies; and
WHEREAS, the Common Council of the City of Bloomington has long supported the rights of working people in the City of Bloomington through adoption of legislation such as:
- the City of Bloomington Living Wage Ordinance (Ordinance 05-08, first adopted in 2005, as amended from time to time);
- Resolution 07-10 supporting the Employee Free Choice Act and recognizing as a fundamental right workers’ ability to unionize; and
- Resolution 21-24 supporting the federal Protecting the Right to Organize Act and again recognizing workers’ fundamental right to unionize;
WHEREAS, graduate students at several other universities, public and private, including peer institutions such as the University of Wisconsin, the University of Iowa, and the University of Michigan, have for decades had graduate worker unions recognized by their universities;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BLOOMINGTON, MONROE COUNTY, INDIANA, THAT: SECTION 1.
The City of Bloomington supports the rights of Indiana University graduate student workers to unionize and strike, and urges the Indiana University administration to recognize Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition – United
Electrical Workers as the chosen representative for graduate workers and enter into good faith negotiations with IGWC-UE.
SECTION 2. Upon adoption, the City Clerk shall send a copy of this resolution to President Pamela Whitten, IU-Bloomington Provost Rahul Shrivastav, the IU-Bloomington Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Eliza Pavalko, and the IU Board of Trustees.