On Conversations with GEs in the run-up to a potential GTFF strike
Several faculty members have asked us what conversations they may and may not have with graduate employees during (and in the run up to) a strike. Individual GEs may want to talk with you about the strike and how you can help avoid or end it. Some have suggested that these types of conversations are illegal. We have talked with our labor attorney, and we believe this suggestion is incorrect.
Supervisors are not allowed to engage their employees in contract negotiations; the negotiations take place at the bargaining table. If you do talk with your GE about what is happening, do not pressure them into agreeing with either side’s proposals. Do not try to influence their thinking about a strike nor what you think they should settle for. Instead, do what any good ally would do: listen, ask questions with the intention of understanding more, and be supportive. We hope the administration will reconsider their current bargaining position so a strike can be avoided. In the meantime, we encourage you to offer your support to the GTFF and the GEs in our departments and workplaces.