SEIU Withdraws Petition to Represent Duke Graduate Students

Action ends graduate student unionization effort by SEIU

Today, we received notice from the National Labor Relations Board that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has withdrawn its petition seeking to unionize Duke Ph.D. students serving as teaching assistants and research assistants in The Graduate School. This marks the end of this unionization effort by the SEIU at Duke.

Many of you have engaged for months on this important issue, and you have shared your perspectives and concerns with me and with each other. We are grateful for the seriousness with which you took this responsibility. While this campaign has been challenging on all sides, I want to express my appreciation for the attention you have given this issue and for participating in the democratic process.

We take pride in the efforts we have put forth in providing strong, competitive support for our Ph.D. students. At the same time, the debate over unionization brought to our attention certain concerns among our students. We look forward to continuing to work with you as collaborative partners to enhance all aspects of your educational experience.

Graduate students are at the heart of Duke University’s mission, and we remain committed to supporting your aspirations as students, scholars, and essential members of an academic community.

Paula D. McClain, Ph.D.
Dean of The Graduate School and
Vice Provost for Graduate Education