Pitt disputes claims of union suppression | TribLIVE.com

Pitt disputes claims of union suppression

Deb Erdley

University of Pittsburgh officials are denying student claims that their choice of locations for a union election for graduate student workers was an attempt to suppress the voting turnout.

Graduate teaching and research assistants at Pitt won a right to hold a union election last week when the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled against the university’s claims that those involved were students, not university employees.

An election among some 2,000 graduate student workers will take place later this spring.

Monday, union organizers said Pitt’s push to have the election held at Benedum Hall or the Biomedical Science Tower, amounted to an attempt to suppress voter turnout. They said graduate students would be more likely to vote if the balloting was held in the Cathedral of Learning or the William Pitt Union, two more centrally located buildings.

Pitt spokesman Joe Miksch on Tuesday said Pitt proposed to hold the election on unionization at Benedum Hall or the Biomedical Science Tower because “both buildings are home to or are convenient to many graduate students.”

“The (William Pitt) Union is home to very few graduate students. Holding elections there runs counter to our intent, which is to support all eligible graduate students in their right to vote. It’s also worth noting that the location of elections is ultimately a matter to be decided by the PLRB,” Miksch said in an email.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.