Chicago Dean Stands Up To Union Protesters Planning To Walk Out During Classes

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

University of Chicago’s dean told graduate students planning to attend a Thursday protest during class hours that they would be “walking out on your students.”

“For graduate students with instructional responsibilities, teaching not only is a fundamental part of your own education and development as scholars and teachers, but it also represents an important responsibility to the students you teach, a responsibility that is compromised by walking out on your students,” Dean of the College John Boyer said in an email Wednesday, The Chicago Maroon reported. “With great appreciation for all that you bring to the University’s intellectual community, I encourage you to maintain your commitment to your students as educators.”

The walkout was held Thursday at 11:03 a.m to signify the one-year anniversary since 1,103 votes were cast by graduate students in support of unionization. (RELATED: University Bars Retired Prof From Teaching After She Offered Students Class Credit To Protest Susan Collins)

It was organized by Graduate Students United (GSU) at the University of Chicago.

Over 350 GSU members and their supporters demanded the university to start a bargaining contract with the pro-union group.

SHUTTERSTOCK/ Jannis Tobias Werner

University of Chicago’s dean told graduate students planning to attend a Thursday protest during class hours that they would be “walking out on your students.” SHUTTERSTOCK/ Jannis Tobias Werner

“The university has refused to negotiate with you, instead siding with the Trump labor board, a board hostile to the interests of unions and working people everywhere,” Ben Laurence, a philosophy department lecturer, said at the protest, The Maroon reported Thursday.

The group says the university was legally obligated to bargain with GSU as a result of the vote, according to the Chicago group’s website.

“We’re not walking out on our students,” GSU wrote in an email Wednesday, The Maroon reported. “We’re walking out FOR our students.”

The University of Chicago and GSU did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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