Post Victory Newsletter

Good morning everyone,

WE OFFICIALLY HAVE A UNION!! We had an outstanding showing of 2,120 grad students at the polls: 2,053 voted yes and 67 voted no. That means that a whopping 97% of voters said YES to unionization!

Having a formal union means we can truly begin addressing the major issues affecting grads across Hopkins, from Homewood to East Baltimore to SAIS! We’ll be able to negotiate with the university for living wages and on-time payment of those wages, safer workspaces and transportation, fair grievance procedures, firmer international student support, and more concrete solidarity with our Baltimore community. In saying YES to a union, we have declared our right to safe and protected workplaces as we perform the research and teaching that Hopkins hired us to do!

Next stop: contract negotiations!!

A Giant Thank You!

We could not have won a union without the hard work and dedication of our organizers, and the solidarity from colleagues and community members. Thank you to everyone who’s stood and continues to stand in solidarity with us! You’ve supported us in so many ways, but especially financially through donations, physically through on-campus organizing, and verbally and in writing through public displays of solidarity. As a result, all Hopkins grad students have a brilliant future ahead in which they will legitimately have a seat at the table. It’s simply amazing to see what can happen when people join together under the banner of fair labor rights!

We also want to thank everyone who came out on Wednesday night to celebrate the huge win with us! Over 120 JHU grad students, alumni, and partners met at The Royal Blue in Station North, catching up with one another and swapping organizing stories. It was an incredible moment to pause and consider the months and years of effort and struggle that contributed to the election’s success. We look forward to seeing what the future holds next!

Fundraising Campaigns

Even so, our organizing isn’t over quite yet! Because of our enormous victory, we now enter our first bargaining period. This period entails the negotiation of a grad student contract, which will be a democratically-decided product that will create job security for every grad student on campus.

This means that we still need to fund our campaign! During the election, we found that items like t-shirts, buttons, and signs enabled us to effectively reach out to grad students to help them know when, where, and how to get to the polls. We’re asking for your help to be able to continue providing these necessities for the coming months of contract negotiations! 

Don’t forget that there are other up and coming grad student unions that also need our financial help! Princeton-GSU is notably in their own fight for a union election. Please contribute to their fundraising campaign to give them the financial support they need!

International Outreach:

The Recent Earthquake in Turkey & Syria

TRU-ISGW is sending condolences to those affected by the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria and strength to all that have come together for the rescue and relief efforts, including the tremendous efforts of grassroots organizations and civilians.

Some of our members have gathered a preliminary list of organizations involved in rescue and relief efforts to direct support and help. The following links include outlets for support (please use the browser translate option for auto-generated English translations): 

  1. AHBAP
  2. AKUT

Additionally, we have fellow JHU graduate workers connected to or directly involved in ground efforts for rescue and relief. Please get in touch with Alaa Saad and/or Sheharyar Imran on the TRU slack, who can provide further information and up-to-date lists on grassroots efforts and active NGOs in Diyarbakir and surrounding regions as well as other ways to support. Contact Laurel Poolman on the TRU slack or support this gofundme to help local relief efforts in Islahiye, Gaziantep.

Finally, feel free to reach out to Eda Begum Birol on the TRU slack for further conversation and information on up-to-date outlets for donations.

Working Group News

  • Chronically Ill & Disabled Students Working Group: At our upcoming meeting on Friday (2/10 at 12 p.m.), we’ll be planning a social event and info/listening session. Come and join us on Zoom! Email Jessica Hester (jesshester88@gmail) for the link. Also, this semester, Jessica, Gloria Sun, and Cat LaCourse joined CovidSafeCampus, an international group of disabled academics and activists working to make campuses more accessible in the ongoing pandemic. We’ll have free masks and other resources; more info to come in the next few weeks.
  • International Students Working Group: Reach out to Eda Begum Birol on the TRU slack or join the ISWG channel to get involved with TRU-ISWG and join our efforts to envision and enable a better Hopkins for international students!
  • Parents & Caregivers Working Group: The group is still celebrating our huge victory, so stay tuned for updates to come!

In solidarity,

The TRU-UE Coordinating Committee