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GRAD STUDENT CONFERENCE TO MEET ON LABOR RIGHTS REVERSAL

On the weekend of Friday, July 23 - Sunday, July 25, hundreds of teaching
and research assistants from across the U.S. and Canada will come to New
York for an international conference of graduate employee unions, entitled
the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions (CGEU). This year's conference
comes on the heels of a July 15th National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
ruling, which reversed the precedent, established in the case of New York
University, granting teaching and research assistants at private
universities the right to form unions under federal labor law.
International Graduate Student Employee Conference
Friday, July 23rd - Sunday July 25th
Teacher's College, Horace Mann Hall, Broadway and 120th Street, New York,
New York

GRAD STUDENT CONFERENCE TO MEET ON LABOR RIGHTS REVERSAL

On the weekend of Friday, July 23 - Sunday, July 25, hundreds of teaching
and research assistants from across the U.S. and Canada will come to New
York for an international conference of graduate employee unions, entitled
the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions (CGEU). This year's conference
comes on the heels of a July 15th National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
ruling, which reversed the precedent, established in the case of New York
University, granting teaching and research assistants at private
universities the right to form unions under federal labor law. The NLRB
ruling split along party lines, with the 3 Republicans voting to overturn
the law and the 2 Democrats strongly dissenting.

With the NLRB ruling becoming a central point of discussion, this year's
conference will be especially intense. Graduate employees will be joined by
representatives from the AFL-CIO and by officials from the national
unions—UAW, HERE, and AFT—whose members are affected by the by the ruling.
Since the successful organizing by NYU graduate assistants, between 2001 and
2003, elections were held at Brown, Tufts, Columbia and Penn. In all cases,
the ballots were impounded pending university appeals to the NLRB.

"The NLRB has done a grave injustice to workers all over the country by
resorting to partisan politics," states Maurice Leutenegger of Columbia
University's Physics Department, "but if university administrations think
that by hiding behind a George Bush Labor Board, they will avoid dealing
with us, they are mistaken. With or without the NLRB, we will continue to
organize—and that starts here in New York, at the CGEU conference."

New York University's graduate employees, many of whom will attend the
conference, have been working under contract since 2001. The contract
expires in 2005 and graduate assistants there are determined to maintain
their union.

"This conference is going to galvanize a lot of support," says Leigh Claire
LaBerge of the American Studies Department at NYU. "People are angry, but
we're also determined. The NLRB decision makes no sense. Our contract at
NYU, by establishing better conditions, has allowed us to focus on our
academic work and has made graduate school a more viable option for many of
us."

Highlights of CGEU will include Friday and Saturday morning plenaries (9
am - 12 noon). For more information about CGEU, including a complete
schedule of events, please visit the GSEU/UAW Local 2110 website at
www.2110uaw.org/gseu/ or call (212) 749-6703.