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Graduate Student Employees Union


Historical Note

*Historical note by Archives staff, circa 1980s:

The Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU) was organized during the spring and summer of 1974, partially in response to cuts in the SUNY budget the previous year. Its purpose was to "promote the best interests of students and education at the State University of New York at Buffalo" (GSEU constitution, 1975). Among the issues addressed by GSEU were the quality of graduate education, affirmative action, salaries, and working conditions. In 1975, the organization attempted, unsuccessfully, to gain legal recognition as a union from the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB).

In March and April 1976, GSEU called and held a strike referendum. Important issues discussed at that time included union recognition, salaries, reduction in the number of teaching assistantships, and affirmative action. Although the majority of those voting favored a strike, the predetermined number of 325 yes votes was not achieved and no strike was called. A second strike referendum held in Spring 1977 failed by one vote.

The following is from the current GSEU website:

"The Graduate Student Employees Union represents all Teaching and Graduate Assistants enrolled in SUNY, the largest state university system in the nation. We are run by and for graduate students, and we constantly work to improve our collective research and our living and working conditions. We work to maintain and extend our benefits, wages, and rights. We recognize that graduate student teaching and research lie at the heart of a great public university, and we believe that as our conditions improve, so, too, will the strength of SUNY."


Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

John E. Crawford files on Graduate Student Employees Union

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 39072039447341]
Identifier: 9-10-1324

Records pertaining to the Graduate Student Employees Union; a small portion of records pertains to the UB Graduate Student Association.

Dates: circa 1981-1995

Graduate Student Employees Union records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 9-10-481

Collection documents the early history of the Graduate Student Employees Union. Included are newsletters, leaflets, committee minutes and agenda, membership lists, correspondence, and other materials.

Dates: circa 1974-1978
Additional filters:
Collective bargaining -- Government employees -- New York (State) 1
New York (State) -- Collective labor agreements -- Education, Higher 1
Universities and colleges -- Graduate work 1