Update on graduate student unionization

A letter from Vice President for Human Resources David Trainor

February 13, 2018

Dear Members of the Boston College Community:

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the Boston College Graduate Union – UAW withdrew its petition to unionize graduate students at Boston College. As a result of that withdrawal, on Thursday, February 8, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revoked the Certification of Representation certifying the election results through which the NLRB had certified the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for graduate students at Boston College. In the simplest terms, this withdrawal and revocation of certification means that the effort to unionize graduate students by the UAW has concluded and the University’s Request for Review is now moot. As of today, there is no action pending before the NLRB related to Boston College and our graduate students and there is no legally certified bargaining representative for graduate students at Boston College.

Boston College reaffirms our appreciation for the ongoing and important contributions of graduate students to the success of the University. Our position remains that graduate student unionization in any form undermines the collegial, mentoring relationship among students and faculty that is a cornerstone of this academic community. Boston College continues to uphold this fundamentally educational relationship, which we believe is in the mutual best interest of students and faculty.

We remain committed to providing our graduate students tax-free tuition remission and competitive stipends, as well as offering excellent health care benefits for our doctoral graduate teaching and research assistants. We will continue to review the benefits we provide to our graduate students and to care for them as valued members of the BC Community. We look forward to their continued contributions to the University.



David Trainor
Vice President for Human Resources



Frequently Asked Questions

General information

Graduate Student Voter: What you should Know

The Catholic Church has long supported the rights of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining, and Boston College has a longstanding relationship with two unions that represent several hundred BC employees. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, however, we believe that respecting the rights of workers to organize does not require support for government control over matters involving our graduate students, and that religious freedom, guaranteed by the Constitution, assures the right of faith-based institutions to be free from government interference in our academic affairs. Throughout our 154-year history, Boston College’s commitment to student formation has been central to our mission as a Jesuit, Catholic university. We believe that everyone involved in teaching at Boston College—including graduate teaching assistants and research assistants—is directly involved in the formation of our students.
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