Our Pledge To You


Illinois House considering whether grad student researchers can unionize

State Rep. Will Guzzardi is the sponsor of a bill considering whether graduate students who work as research assistants can unionize. | Sun-Times file photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers are considering whether graduate-student researchers can form unions.

The House Labor & Commerce Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to continue discussing a measure allowing all graduate students to collectively bargain. State law says students who work as teaching assistants can unionize but not those who work as research assistants.

Democratic Rep. Will Guzzardi of Chicago is the sponsor. He says research assistants and teaching assistants perform similar functions and should be allowed to unionize.

Republican Rep. Steve Reick of Woodstock is against the measure. He says research isn’t work because students use it to further their own education.

The Senate approved the measure last month.