List of Graduate Unions

The grassroots movement to organize academic workers is growing by the year, as the Harvard Graduate Students Union’s chart shows. Below we’ve listed unions who have won recognition from their private universities and organizations currently fighting for recognition and other immediate changes at their workplaces. For the most up-to-date list of American university unions, see our Unions in US Higher Education roster.

Certified Private University Graduate and Undergraduate Worker Unions include:

Certified Public University Graduate and Undergraduate Worker Unions include:

Ongoing Organizing Campaigns for Private and Public Student Worker Unions include:

*These unions have all won National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union representation elections, yet the administrations of Boston College, University of Chicago, and Yale University undemocratically refuse to collectively bargain with their unions, causing the Boston College Graduate Employees Union, Graduate Students United, and Local 33 UNITE HERE! to pull their representation petitions from the NLRB out of concern that their administrations would lobby the post-2017 NLRB to weaken all US private university student employee unionization efforts. They continue organizing to bring their administrations to the bargaining table. The Loyola Graduate Workers’ Union remains NLRB certified, yet the Loyola University Chicago administration also refuses to bargain.


AAUP = American Association of University Professors

AFT = American Federation of Teachers 

CWA = Communications Workers of America

ILWU = International Longshore and Warehouse Union

NEA = National Education Association

SEIU = Service Employees International Union

UAW = United Auto Workers (The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America)

UE = United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America

USW = United Steelworkers (United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union)

UNITE HERE! = Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE) and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE)