To: Caltech Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
From: David Chan, Dean of Graduate Studies; Kaushik Bhattacharya, Vice Provost
Date: January 10, 2024
Re:Union Election Process Information
On January 31, 2024, and February 1, 2024, Caltech's graduate students and postdoctoral scholars will have the opportunity to decide in two separate elections whether they wish to be represented by Caltech Graduate Researchers and Postdocs United, associated with the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).
If a union is elected, the union will be the exclusive representative of current and future graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in collective bargaining regarding terms and conditions of their appointments, including wages and benefits. These decisions have the potential to fundamentally change the campus for all current and future community members and to alter the way in which graduate students and postdoctoral scholars collaborate with their faculty advisors and faculty administrators on the graduate student experience and postdoctoral training program. As such, we believe that it is important that all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are eligible to vote in each election do so. This moment is your opportunity to educate yourself, to engage, and to voice your perspective on how best to represent the interests of current and future graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at Caltech.
We have listed some important points about the election process for you to keep in mind as you consider how to vote in this election:
- Eligible graduate students and postdoctoral scholars will be participating in two separate union elections. The outcomes of each election will be completely independent and will only determine whether each respective group wishes to be represented by the union.
- The outcome of each election will be determined by the majority of those who vote in the election (not a majority of those who are eligible to vote).
- If a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of the union, the union would become the exclusive representative for all graduate students and/or postdoctoral scholars in the elected bargaining unit for the purpose of determining wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of their appointments.
- Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are eligible to vote in their election—whether by mail or in person—will be notified directly by Caltech through their campus email account by Thursday, January 18, 2024.
- All eligible graduate students and postdoctoral scholars will be able to vote in-person on January 31, 2024, and February 1, 2024, in Ramo Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on both days. Both elections, while separate from one another, will be held in the same location.
- Mail-in ballots will only be sent to eligible graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who hold appointments off-site on January 24, 2024. To the extent that you believe you are eligible to vote by mail but do not receive a mail-in ballot by Wednesday, January 31, 2024, please contact the NLRB's Region 21 office at (213) 894-5254. All mail ballots must be received by the NLRB by Wednesday, February 7, 2024, in order to be counted in the election.
- All votes for both elections will be tallied by the NLRB on February 7, 2024.
Caltech is providing additional information on the election, unionization process, and current processes and structures in place to support graduate students and postdocs in frequently asked questions and resources on the Unionization Information website.