After a turbulent election process, the United Auto Workers Local 2865 (UAW) election committee has finished counting the graduate student union’s votes.
The incumbent group, United Students for Economic Justice (USEJ), won many of the Head Steward positions systemwide. The reform group, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU), won the presidency and over 60 percent of the seats within the union’s Joint Council.
UAW represents over 12,000 readers, teaching assistants and tutors throughout the UC system.
According to a statement released by USEJ, the group won all of the Steward Head positions at UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara. They also won some Head Steward positions at UC Davis and UC Merced.
“On behalf of everyone involved in USEJ, we want to thank our supporters who have stood by us along the way, in our efforts to keep things positive and issue-focused,” wrote Daraka Larimore-Hall, former UAW president, in a statement released by USEJ. “For our part, we look forward to working with all members to continue building a strong, united, activist union at UC.”
Issues with the ballot-counting began when members from both USEJ and AWDU challenged the election. The election committee voted to stop counting the ballots and send the election results to the union’s Joint Council so that they could make a decision about how to proceed.
After deliberation, the election committee, along with mediators, finished counting the ballots on May 8.
On the AWDU official blog, AWDU members said that it was now time to come together as a union and fight the current higher education crisis.
“A grassroots, bottom-up union is strong when it provides space for open debate, and we hope that every member continues to express criticism when necessary,” AWDU members stated on the blog.
– Hannah Strumwasser