The Graduate Student Union was organized on the campus of Central Michigan University at Mount Pleasant, Michigan in May 2009. The Graduate Student Union is a labor union representing Graduate Assistants, both teaching and administrative. Currently, due to Michigan legislation, we are barred from representing Graduate Student Research Assistants.
The Graduate Student Union is a democratic, activist, and volunteer-run organization. All members are graduate students at Central Michigan University, and all leadership positions are volunteer. Unlike other labor unions, our leadership does not receive monetary compensation or course/work releases for their time spent doing union business. We do employ a staffer who we share with the UTF, or Union of Teaching Faculty. Our office space at 1205 S. Mission Ste. 1 is also shared with the UTF.
The collective action of the Graduate Student Union is responsible for many of the concrete benefits Graduate Assistants have seen in the past several years. From instituting a formal grievance process to a base salary to a wellness allowance, our membership benefits from our collective involvement and interest in fighting for fair labor practices.
Graduate Student Union local 6522 is a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The GSU works closely with AFT-Michigan to enforce and expand the collective bargaining rights of graduate student employees throughout the state of Michigan. AFT-Michigan and AFT also provide several leadership and professional development opportunities, such as bi-yearly leadership summits, which Graduate Student Union members attend regularly.