Graduate student researchers at the RAND Corporation think tank’s Pardee RAND Graduate School have voted to unionize.
Out of 122 eligible voters, the tally was 51 to 26 with nine challenged ballots, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
The votes, cast this month by mail, were counted Wednesday. The new union is called PRGS Organizes–UAW.
“Building a union with my coworkers has been an empowering way to put our policy studies into action,” said Alejandra Lopez, a graduate student researcher, in a union news release. “I’m excited for the opportunity to swiftly begin negotiations with RAND to make our workplace conducive to the highest quality research.”
In an email Thursday, a RAND Corporation spokesman wrote, “We are awaiting election certification by the NLRB. Between now and election certification, we will be evaluating our potential next steps.”
RAND had argued before the NLRB that the students aren’t employees under the National Labor Relations Act.
An NLRB spokeswoman said the sides had five business days as of Wednesday to object, and the results will be certified if there are no objections.