MISSION STATEMENT

THE LOYOLA GRADUATE WORKERS' UNION EXISTS TO FIGHT FOR THE NEEDS AND RIGHTS OF ALL GRADUATE STUDENT WORKERS THROUGHOUT THE LOYOLA COMMUNITY.

We believe that the valuable and necessary labor that graduate workers provide for their institutions should not go unrecognized, and we believe that graduate school should not be a pipeline to precarity.

Graduate student workers at Loyola contribute to Loyola's scholarly prestige and moral commitments, yet our working conditions and expectations do not reflect the role we play in the university community. The following demands state what is required for the university to act in harmony with its mission and vision of social justice and ethical practices.

We believe that all graduate student workers are workers and should be treated as such.

Loyola University Chicago does not recognize its graduate students workers as workers, and therefore Loyola has thus far refused to meet us at the bargaining table. Needless to say, we vehemently disagree. We are teachers, researchers, teaching assistants, mentors, and so much more to the Loyola community. As such, we believe that our labor should not go unnoticed, and that we should be recognized by Loyola as workers in every sense of the word.

We believe that we deserve a seat at the bargaining table.

We demand a voice in decisions that directly impact our jobs and our lives. We will not be satisfied with incremental changes that do not address our fundamental economic precarity and that can be taken away at any time.  

We believe that all graduate student workers deserve a living wage.

We need a livable income in order to support ourselves year-round as graduate student workers in the city of Chicago. Loyola must commit to a living wage to make graduate study available to all and to build a more equitable university. A living wage would ensure that we can provide for ourselves and our families, build a financial safety net, and finish our degree programs in a timely manner. This includes both expanding stipends to include year-round, sustainable funding, as well as significant increases in hourly rates for hourly graduate workers to meet living wage standards.

We believe that investing in graduate student workers also includes investing in our health and well-being.

This means providing affordable and comprehensive health care coverage, including vision insurance; mental health resources; childcare and parental leave; and fitness center membership.

We believe that all graduate student workers deserve sufficient academic and professional development resources.

In order to excel as researchers and teachers, graduate students need logistical and financial support for conference presentations, research projects, teaching workshops, job interviews, and additional professionalization activities required for securing employment after we complete our degrees.

 
 

Union RECognition

LUC must recognize us as employees and meet us at the bargaining table.

COVID-19 Support & Advocacy

Providing support and advocacy for graduate workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including emergency funding resources for those in need.

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Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

Providing solidarity, resources, and coordination for BLM and racial justice activism.

Increased funding

Demanding student worker funding commensurate with the cost of living in Chicago via increased stipends and summer funding.

KEY ISSUES

Cutting Loyola ties with the CPD

Advocating for LUC to sever its connections to the Chicago Police Department.

International Student Rights

Fighting for international student workers' rights and economic security.

Access to campus resources

Procuring affordable access to gym facilities, on-campus meal plans, and continued U-Pass availability.

Transparency from admin

Increasing transparency and communication between Loyola administration and its graduate community.

 
August 2016

Columbia University ruling allows graduate workers at private universities to unionize.

Fall 2016

Graduate workers at Loyola University Chicago begin unionization campaign.

HISTORY

February 8, 2017

Majority of graduate workers at Loyola vote to unionize under SEIU Local 73.

October 17, 2017

Loyola administration denies LGWU both union recognition and a $500 stipend increase request.

2017-2018 Academic Year

LGWU organizing leads to increased travel funding and dental insurance coverage.

April 4, 2018

Solidarity actions and strike lead to unionization of Loyola's non-tenure track faculty.

2018-2019 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition.

August 2016

Columbia University ruling allows graduate workers at private universities to unionize.

Fall 2016

Graduate workers at Loyola University Chicago begin unionization campaign.

HISTORY

February 8, 2017

Majority of graduate workers at Loyola vote to unionize under SEIU Local 73.

October 17, 2017

Loyola administration denies LGWU both union recognition and a $500 stipend increase request.

2017-2018 Academic Year

LGWU organizing leads to increased travel funding and dental insurance coverage.

April 4, 2018

Solidarity actions and strike lead to unionization of Loyola's non-tenure track faculty.

2018-2019 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition.

April 16, 2019

LGWU graduate workers arrested at Lewis Towers.

April 24, 2019

LGWU graduate workers walk out for union recognition.

2019-2020 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition, visibility, and national graduate union solidarity.

Spring 2020

LGWU focuses on demands re: COVID-19 and racial justice support from administration.

PRESS COVERAGE

 
August 2016

Columbia University ruling allows graduate workers at private universities to unionize.

Fall 2016

Graduate workers at Loyola University Chicago begin unionization campaign.

HISTORY

February 8, 2017

Majority of graduate workers at Loyola vote to unionize under SEIU Local 73.

October 17, 2017

Loyola administration denies LGWU both union recognition and a $500 stipend increase request.

2017-2018 Academic Year

LGWU organizing leads to increased travel funding and dental insurance coverage.

April 4, 2018

Solidarity actions and strike lead to unionization of Loyola's non-tenure track faculty.

2018-2019 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition.

April 16, 2019

LGWU graduate workers arrested at Lewis Towers.

April 24, 2019

LGWU graduate workers walk out for union recognition.

2019-2020 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition, visibility, and national graduate union solidarity.

Spring 2020

LGWU focuses on demands re: COVID-19 and racial justice support from administration.

August 2016

Columbia University ruling allows graduate workers at private universities to unionize.

Fall 2016

Graduate workers at Loyola University Chicago begin unionization campaign.

HISTORY

February 8, 2017

Majority of graduate workers at Loyola vote to unionize under SEIU Local 73.

October 17, 2017

Loyola administration denies LGWU union recognition, but meets $500/year stipend increase request.

2017-2018 Academic Year

LGWU organizing leads to increased travel funding and dental insurance coverage.

April 4, 2018

Solidarity actions and strike lead to unionization of Loyola's non-tenure track faculty.

2018-2019 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition.

April 16, 2019

LGWU graduate workers arrested at Lewis Towers.

April 24, 2019

LGWU graduate workers walk out for union recognition.

2019-2020 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition, visibility, and national graduate union solidarity.

Spring 2020

LGWU focuses on demands re: COVID-19 and racial justice support from administration.

Spring 2020

LGWU focuses on demands re: COVID-19 and racial justice support from administration.

LGWU WINS:

Increased travel funding

Dental insurance

Stipend increases

+ Due to LGWU pressure and direct action, Loyola agreed to $500 per year stipend increases for all graduate workers, increasing each year up until (and including) their final year of funding. In April 2021, after five years of union organizing and action, Loyola University Chicago has agreed to increase stipends for all PhD students on research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and fellowships to $28,000 over nine months. This is a 64% increase!

April 27, 2021 - "Should grad students be considered employees? Loyola University nearly doubles stipends for Ph.D. candidates but doesn’t recognize Graduate Workers’ Union," Chicago Tribune

April 12, 2021 - "'Our Success or Failure Is Tied Together': Grad Student Union Activism Picks Up in Biden Era," The Harvard Crimson

 

January 27, 2021 - "The NLRB's Theology of Labor," Strikewave

May 27, 2020 - “Universities to Grad Students: Drop Dead,” The Nation

 

Mar 3, 2020 - “National Labor Relations Board to Rule on Student Workers’ Unions at Private Universities,” The College Post

 

Nov 19, 2019, “Graduate Students Protest Trump Labor Board's Proposal to Exempt Them From Definition of 'Employee,’Newsweek

 

Nov 16, 2019 - “Grad Unions from Across Chicago Rally against NLRB, Vow to Continue Organizing,” The Chicago Maroon

 

Nov 14, 2019 - “Northwestern Graduate Workers join other Chicago grad students, protest downtown to protect their rights to unionize,” The Daily Northwestern

 

Nov 12, 2019 - “Graduate Students Continue Fight for Recognition As Workers, Hand In Petition With 400 Signatures To Administrators,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Oct 2, 2019 - “Graduate Students Could Lose Right to Unionize,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Sep 25, 2019 - “Graduate Workers Are Going to Fight Like Hell to Stop the Trump NLRB’s New Rule,” In These Times

 

Sep 25, 2019, - “Letter to the Editor: Loyola Must Now Admit That It is Hiding Behind the Trump Administration on Grad Worker,Loyola Phoenix

 

Sep 23, 2019 - “Graduate students to be stripped of unionization rights under proposed NLRB rule,” The Daily Northwestern

 

Apr 24, 2019 - “Graduate Students Continue the Fight for Union Contract in Lake Shore Campus Demonstrations,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Apr 19, 2019 - “Should Graduate Students Be Paid Like Employees? Students Across Campuses Push for Living Wage,” Newsweek

 

Apr 15, 2019 - “Loyola graduate students call for school to treat them as workers, increase compensation,” WGN9 Chicago

 

Apr 15, 2019 - “Loyola Students Arrested During Protest Over Graduate Student Union Contract,” WBEZ Chicago

 

Apr 10, 2019 - “Chicago Graduate Student Unions Face Roadblocks to Unionization,” WBEZ Chicago

 

Apr 9, 2019 - “Graduate Students Protest One Year After Non-Tenure Track Faculty Strike,” Loyola Phoenix

 

May 24, 2019 "Trump Is Set To Deal A Major Blow To Grad Student Unions,” HuffPost

 

Mar 26, 2019 - “Grad Union Still Fighting for Recognition,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Mar 16, 2018 - “Labor Groups Launch Effort on Grad Student Unions,” Inside Higher Ed

 

Dec 12, 2017 - “Georgetown denies unionizing effort of graduate student group,” National Catholic Reporter

 

Dec 11, 2017 - “Graduate Student and Non-Tenure Faculty Unions Stage Sit-In for Recognition,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Dec 6, 2017 - “Arrests, anger, anxiety as grad students visit Paul Ryan’s office,Inside Higher Ed

 

Dec 6, 2017 - “Loyola Administration Resists Workplace Harassment Protections,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Dec 5, 2017 - “Grad students arrested during tax protest at Speaker Ryan’s office,” Washington Post

 

Dec 5, 2017 - “Loyola students hold rally in response to tax bill,Loyola Phoenix

 

Oct 29, 2017 - “The Ivy League Has An Unexpected Friend in Donald Trump,Huffington Post

 

Oct 27, 2017 - “Loyola Won’t Negotiate With Graduate Student Union,” Inside Higher Ed

 

Oct 25, 2017 - “Graduate Union Denied Recognition by Administration,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Sep 22, 2017 - “Lack of Travel Funding Hurts Graduate Student Job Prospects,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Aug 24, 2017 - “Graduate students won right to organize as employees, but that victory is in peril under Trump,” Washington Post

 

Jun 28, 2017 - “Will Grad Students Lose the Right to Unionize Under Trump?,The Atlantic

 

Feb 15, 2017 - “Loyola Graduate Student Workers Vote to Unionize,” Loyola Phoenix

 

Feb 9, 2017 - “Grad Assistants at Loyola Chicago Unionize,” Inside Higher Ed

 

Feb 8, 2017 - “Loyola University graduate students vote to unionize,Chicago Tribune

August 2016

Columbia University ruling allows graduate workers at private universities to unionize.

Fall 2016

Graduate workers at Loyola University Chicago begin unionization campaign.

HISTORY

February 8, 2017

Majority of graduate workers at Loyola vote to unionize under SEIU Local 73.

October 17, 2017

Loyola administration denies LGWU union recognition, but meets $500/year stipend increase request.

2017-2018 Academic Year

LGWU organizing leads to increased travel funding and dental insurance coverage.

April 4, 2018

Solidarity actions and strike lead to unionization of Loyola's non-tenure track faculty.

2018-2019 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition.

April 16, 2019

LGWU graduate workers arrested at Lewis Towers.

April 24, 2019

LGWU graduate workers walk out for union recognition.

2019-2020 Academic Year

LGWU organizing focuses on union recognition, visibility, and national graduate union solidarity.

Spring 2020

LGWU focuses on demands re: COVID-19 and racial justice support from administration.

April 23, 2021

After LGWU spent five years organizing, LUC has agreed to increase stipends for all PhD students on research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and fellowships to $28,000 over nine months, a 64% increase!!

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the difference between LGWU and LWC?

The Loyola Graduate Workers’ Union (LGWU) is the name for the certified union of graduate student workers at Loyola University Chicago. The Loyola Worker Coalition (LWC) is a collective of LGWU graduate student workers,

the Loyola College of Arts & Sciences non-tenure track faculty union, staff, undergraduate students, and the AAUP chapter at Loyola University Chicago. As such, LWC allows us to have an even broader reach and create solidarity across the university. Much of our social media presence is under the umbrella of the Loyola Worker Coalition.

Who can join LGWU?

Any graduate student at Loyola University Chicago is welcome to join LGWU! LGWU is committed to advocating for all graduate students across the university, regardless of their status, program, or school.

How do I join the Loyola Graduate Workers' Union?

By simply being a graduate student, we will actively advocate for you and your needs. However, we ask that you please fill out the following survey to help us maintain updated information.

If you would like to be involved as a member of the Organizing Committee, i.e., involved in planning actions, facilitating meetings, engaging in outreach, etc., please send a message to loyolagradunion@gmail.com letting us know about your interest. Anyone is welcome to join the organizing committee.

What can non-grad worker allies do to support LGWU?

LGWU is grateful to have allies throughout the Loyola and Chicago community, and beyond! As part of the Loyola Worker Coalition, we work closely with Loyola’s non-tenure track faculty and their union, and Loyola’s AAUP chapter. Staff, faculty, undergraduates, and community members are encouraged to join our Loyola Workers’ Coalition mailing list by e-mailing loyolaworkercoalition@gmail.com with their request. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for ongoing updates!

Is the LGWU officially recognized by Loyola?

While Loyola University Chicago does not recognize graduate students at Loyola as workers, we are a certified union with SEIU Local 73, and we were democratically elected in February of 2017. While we have continued to advocate for graduate students and have achieved numerous successes, we will continue to pressure the university to meet us at the bargaining table.