NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Yale teachers and community members joined in front of the university president’s home Tuesday night lighting candles holding signs that read, “how much longer?” In February, Yale graduate teachers voted to form a union through local 33 UNITE HERE in elections administered by the National Labor Relations Board. The teachers said the Yale administration refuses to begin contract negotiations.
A Yale protester said,”There’s been 21 days of fasting, of marching, of picketing and us waiting for the Yale administration to meet their basic legal obligation.” Charles Decker told NEWS8, “They’re using legal delay tactics rather than sitting down in negotiating a contract with us.”
In order to get their voices heard a handful of graduate teachers fasting for three weeks. Decker added, “In order to actually solve these issues, we need to unite. We need to union contract. We need to actually be able to sit down and negotiate with the administration. In order to get enough attention and actually get these negotiations started, I would need to take it, I would need to take extremely visible frankly extreme action.”
Lena Eckert-Erdheim said, “This is my seventh day i’m not eating only drinking water, I’m tired but I’m really happy to be here and really just grateful for the support and care so many people.”
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The university previously said in a statement that the action is unwarranted by the circumstances and the school strongly urges students not to put their health at risk. But graduate teachers say they have no choice.
Eckert-Erdheim said, “I think we have attracted attention from across the country and across the world and we have the university’s ear and it’s up to them to come to the table.”