To the Editor:
Although many members of the Yale College Council first heard of the neutrality resolution last Sunday night, the YCC issues committee spent months preparing it. The issues committee conducted extensive research on the meaning of neutrality, the graduate students’ right to organize a union and accusations against the Yale administration about harassment and intimidation.
In the full council, representatives from all colleges, as well as guests at the meeting, debated the resolution for 45 minutes. Only after this extensive discussion did the council vote.
As a YCC member who worked on this resolution, I am extremely offended the Yale Daily News would accuse YCC reps of supporting the resolution without believing in it or fully understanding it. The YCC would never vote on a resolution unless a majority believed itself prepared to do so; if a minority of members do not feel confident in their knowledge of a subject, they can abstain from voting or vote against the resolution, forcing it to be reconsidered.
Additionally, to insinuate that current reps seeking offices voted in favor of the resolution simply to garner the support of campus groups like the Yale College Democrats seems ridiculous and unfair both to students who genuinely care about the neutrality issue and to the candidates themselves.
The YCC understood the meaning of the resolution we passed on Sunday. We believe that card-check neutrality is essential to protect the legal rights of graduate students to unionize. We voted for this type of neutrality exactly because it requires a majority of graduate students to support unionization, as opposed to a secret ballot where a much lower turnout could decide the issue.
Legally, the University must recognize graduate student unions that form after signing a card-check neutrality agreement and unions that result from an NLRB-sanctioned secret ballot. By signing a card-check neutrality agreement the University would ensure a more democratic means for graduate students to execute their legally protected right to unionize.
Risa Berkower ’02
April 19, 2001
The writer is a representative of the YCC.