Graduate Division

Information for GSRs

Section 1

On Oct. 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law an amendment to the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) expanding the definition of “employee” to include student employees whose work is an integral part of their educational objectives. Prior to this amendment, Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) at UC were determined to be fundamentally students, not “employees.” With this change to the law, GSRs will be eligible to become exclusively represented by a union under HEERA. This amendment goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) or another union may approach you and other Graduate Student Researchers to sign materials about union representation.

Before you sign anything, it is very important that you understand what it means to sign a union card or petition. Unionization may result from union cards signed by employees or by a secret ballot election.

UC supports your right to decide for yourself whether unionization is beneficial for you. That choice is yours. UC believes this choice should be well informed.

Get the facts before you sign a union card or petition:

  • Your signature on a card or petition may constitute your “vote.” Read carefully before you sign anything.
  • Union cards or petitions are not just an expression of interest. Signing them may mean unionization.

For important information about your rights, the unionization process and what being unionized means to help you make an informed choice, please see below links:


You may contact Marianne Beckett at Academic Personnel & Academic Labor Relations at (949) 824-7175 if you have additional questions.