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Guide to the Graduate Students Union Records, 2013-2017

Summary

The Duke Graduate Students Union is a student organization partnered with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to create a labor union representing graduate student workers at Duke University. Records cover the campaign to form a collective bargaining union as well as subsequent efforts to organize as a direct-action, direct-join union.

Collection Details

Record Group
UA.31.10.0005
Title
Duke Graduate Students Union Records
Date
2013-2017 (bulk 2016-2017)
Extent
2 Gigabytes, .1 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English.

Collection Overview

The Duke Graduate Students Union records span 2013-2017, with the bulk of the material from 2016-2017. Records include correspondence with University administration, the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), DGSU membership, and University listserves, as well as solidarity letters from other labor entities. Also included are promotional materials such as presentations and advertisements, collected anti-union organizing materials, meeting notes, legal documents filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) related to the petition to unionize, media coverage, and photographs of events held by DGSU during their campaign.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Access copies of electronic records must be requested through the collection guide and accessed in our reading room. Contact Research Services with questions.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Duke Graduate Students Union records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Administration Correspondence, 2016-2017
(13 document files (PDF format); approximately 6 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Advertisements, 2016
(1 document file (PDF format); less than 1 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Anti-Union Organizing Efforts, 2016-2017
(11 document and image files (predominantly PDF format); approximately 5 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Continuation Fees, 2015 and undated
(3 document files (PDF and DOCX formats); less than 1 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
E-mail Blasts, 2016-2017
(21 document files (PDF format); approximately 9 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Fliers and Other DGSU Publications, 2016-2017
(9 document and image files (predominately PDF format); approximately 6 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
GPSC Correspondence, 2016
(2 document files (PDF format); approximately 1 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Graduate Workers Forward pin
Folder 1
Intra-Department Listserves on Grad Union, 2016-2017
(17 document files (PDF and DOCX formats); approximately 9 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Media Coverage, 2016-2017
(38 document files (PDF format); approximately 23 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Meeting Notes
Folder 1
Miscellaneous, 2017
(2 document files (PDF format); approximately 3 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
NLRB Legal Documents, 2016-2017
(15 document files (PDF format); approximately 20 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Photos, 2016-2017 and undated
(531 still image and video files (predominantly JPEG and MPEG-4 formats); approximately 2 GB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Presentations, undated
(1 document file (PDF format); less than 1 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Sample Grad Student Contracts and Work Assignment Letters, 2013-2016
(4 document files (PDF and DOCX formats); less than 1 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
Solidarity Letters, 2016-2017
(5 document files (predominantly PDF format); approximately 2 MB.)
Digital-materials UA31-10-0005-SET-0001
 

Historical Note

The Duke Graduate Students Union (DGSU) formed in early 2016, when graduate student workers partnered with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). These two organizations campaigned to form a majority union and petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The election in March 2017 was inconclusive: although the tabulated votes indicated the vote would fail, enough ballots remained contested by SEIU and the University to tip the vote in either direction. SEIU, acting on behalf of DGSU, withdrew the petition to unionize from the NLRB. Since spring 2017, DGSU exists as a direct-action, direct-join union and is active on campus advocating for increased benefits for graduate student workers, as well as organizing alongside other employee labor groups at Duke University.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Duke Graduate Students Union records were received by the Duke University Archives as a transfer in 2017 and 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Farrell and Tracy Jackson, December 2018 and January 2019. Accessions described in this collection guide: UA2017-0033 and UA2018-0090.