City of Somerville header
File #: 23-0620    Version: 1
Type: Resolution Status: Approved
File created: 4/11/2023 In control: City Council
On agenda: 4/13/2023 Final action: 4/13/2023
Enactment date: 4/13/2023 Enactment #: 215234
Title: Condemning Northeastern University's anti-union behavior.
Sponsors: Willie Burnley Jr., Charlotte Kelly, Jake Wilson, Ben Ewen-Campen, Jefferson Thomas (J.T.) Scott
Indexes: City Clerk

Agenda Summary


Condemning Northeastern University's anti-union behavior.



Official Text

WHEREAS:                      A majority of graduate student workers at Northeastern University filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on February 6th, 2023, in order to secure better pay, overwork protections, dental insurance, equity between domestic and international                                           students, and protections from racial and sexual discrimination, among other improvements to their working conditions; and


WHEREAS:                      The success and global prestige enjoyed by Northeastern hinges on the work performed by their graduate employees in research, teaching, grading, and administrative assistance; and


WHEREAS:                      Northeastern Administrators Sara Wadia-Fascetti and David Madigan have untruthfully stated during the NLRB process that the workers who do work at the university are not workers and therefore do not have the rights of workers; and


WHEREAS:                      The law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP is arguing on Northeastern's behalf to the NLRB that all graduate students across the country should be undemocratically denied their union representation at private universities in what would be a ruinous precedent for labor organizing; and


WHEREAS:                      Northeastern has taken several anti-union actions by seeking to prevent Doctoral student workers from organizing with Masters student workers as well as repeatedly attempting to coerce graduate workers out of organizing through spreading anti-union disinformation about unions and the rights of graduate student workers; and


WHEREAS:                       The Somerville City Council recognizes the critical value of unionized workers and is home to many of Northeastern’s graduate student workers; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT


RESOLVED: That the Somerville City Council condemns the anti-union behavior of Northeastern University and calls upon the university to allow all working masters and doctoral graduate students to vote in an election this semester and stop disenfranchising graduate student workers.