Graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have voted to join a union, WBUR reports.
The vote came in at 1,785 in favor of joining a union affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America and 912 against, according to The Scientist. WBUR adds that the organizers of the vote said the result reflects the increasing challenges facing graduate students, including not only the need for improved teaching, research, and academic support but also for addressing the cost of living in Cambridge, insurance benefits, and supporting racial and gender equity.
"I think a union is very in line with MIT's values of innovation — of trying things," Lilly Chin, a doctoral student at MIT, tells WBUR. "If the system's not working, we're all engineers here. We know we can design it better."
WBUR notes that the union has not yet been certified by National Labor Relations Board, and that the MIT administration could still challenge the vote, but it says that is unlikely as Chancellor Melissa Nobles and Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz congratulated the organizers in an all-campus email.