Colorado State University’s graduate workers have been organizing independently since 2021, fighting for an end to graduate fees and other rights without support from any nationwide union network. They worked as a group under the acronym GWOC, which stood for Graduate Workers Organizing Cooperative.
GUAC will officially be talked about in the past tense now, but not because the group has disbanded. Rather, they’ve voted to affiliate with CWA Local 7799. This makes them the latest chapter of United Campus Workers Colorado, which advocates for thousands of public sector employees across Colorado – including workers in the CU system. Their new name is UCW-CSU-CWA Local 7799 – or UCW-CSU, for short.
By affiliating, CSU workers are now part of a “wall-to-wall” union. This means that unlike other unions across the nation that organize based on job classification or campus location, all faculty, post-docs, administrative professionals, undergraduate students, and graduate students can now become members of this union and work in solidarity alongside one another to fight for lots of demands.
KGNU’s Jackie Sedley spoke with three members of the newly-established UCW-CSU – Kendall Stephenson, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in CSU’s Economics department; Deb Nunes, a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate also in the Economics department; and Emily Gallichotte, a postdoctoral research scientist in CSU’s microbiology department. Hear what they had to say about the new affiliation.
UCW-CSU-CWA Local 7799 Jackie Sedley