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Brown University graduate students decide to unionize

November 20, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Brown University graduate students have voted to unionize.

A four-day secret ballot election ended Monday at the Ivy League campus in Providence. About 60 percent of the nearly 1,000 students who voted favored joining the American Federation of Teachers.

About 1,250 teaching assistants, proctors and research assistants were eligible to vote.

Everyone in positions covered by the bargaining unit will be represented as the union negotiates employment terms.

Kaitlyn Quaranta, a graduate assistant in French studies, says the vote sends a clear message that their labor shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Brown University says its primary relationship with graduate students is as students, but it supports the right of students to make this decision on unionization.

A student organization, Stand Up for Graduate Student Employees, advocated for a union election.

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