How to Comment
Just as graduate workers have won big improvements on the job, the Trump Labor Board has announced plans to strip us of our rights. Submitting comments on the Board’s proposed rule change is one key way you can fight back.
SUBMITTING YOUR COMMENT:
- Make sure you know the basics of the proposed rule change. You can learn more on our FAQ sheet.
- Visit bit.ly/gradrights.
- Fill out the form, but instead of just clicking submit, take a minute to share why this issue matters to you and how it might impact you or someone else given your or their situation. Be as specific as possible. The more unique your argument, the better.
- Click submit. We’ll make sure your comment lands in the Labor Board’s mailbox.
- Then be sure to spread the word online and with your friends so they can act too!
TIPS FOR GOOD COMMENT WRITING:
- Be specific!
Think about how this will impact you personally, someone you know or even an entire group of people. Does it impact certain demographics differently? Think about the implications of this change. What unintended consequences could it have?
- Be unique!
Try to come up with an original angle. The Board is required to respond to unique comments. Anything that’s seen as only covering one issue can be lumped together. Therefore, it helps us slow down the process and really make them think through it by putting out as many unique arguments against the change as possible.
DO’s & DON’TS:
- If you’re able to draw on any research or data you’ve come across, feel free to use it. Adding in citations can strengthen your comment.
- Do include citations to support your argument wherever possible — the more, the better!
- Don’t make this about personal attacks on any individual, political party or institution. Focus on telling your story or making your argument about why labor rights are important for graduate workers.
- Don’t include any sensitive personal information, as these comments will become part of the public record.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Here are some prompts to get you thinking about a topic for your comment.
- How will this impact your personally?
- What protections might someone lose without a union? (Think about benefits, sexual harassment issues, paid parental leave, year-round funding, etc.)
- Does it impact a certain demographic or group of people differently?
- Who are graduate workers (age, families, careers, class, debt holders, etc.)?
- What unintended consequences could it have?
- What implications might this have for other groups of people or employees?
- Could this put anyone at danger? How so?
- What harm could this cause?
- What kind of confusion could this cause?
- If your university has failed to bargain, how has this impacted you or the people you care about?
- If you’re a graduate worker, why would you like a union? What would you organize to change?
- As a graduate worker, what duties do you perform in your daily work, especially job duties which are unrelated to or do not further your personal education? Share stories about…
- how your work or the work of your department generates or has generated income for your university.
- intellectual property you have generated during your time as an employee
- classes you teach which generate income (tuition dollars) for your university
- Why are collective bargaining rights important? (Talk about improvements to working conditions, benefits, job protections, culture and climate, the success of the university’s mission and goals, etc.)
- How has a union or the right to a union positively impacted your studies, research, professional relationships or academic goals?
- Can you provide examples of where having collective bargaining rights has not harmed academic freedom or relationships?
- How does this rule relate to trends in higher education like the growing reliance on graduate workers and adjunct professors?
- Is there any negative impact on students, universities, any other members of the campus or local community, businesses or taxpayers?
- Talk about the cost of living in college towns.
- What principles or laws do you believe this change undermines?