Oxy Students Are Joining Our Union!

Occidental College student workers voted overwhelmingly to join us in SEIU Local 721, according to ballots tallied Wednesday, June 12, by the National Labor Relations Board! The more than 1,000 undergraduate workers have diverse roles — baristas, resident assistants, graders, tutors, translators, lifeguards, researchers, and many more — and formed two units that amount to wall-to-wall representation. The student workers — who dubbed their unit the Rising Occidental Student Employees (R.O.S.E.) — join thousands of higher education workers over the past decade who have formed unions with SEIU 721 and our sister locals across the country! We are glad to welcome them into our union family! Oxy student workers released statements following their win.

Crystal Stylc, who will be a junior at Occidental this fall and works as a resident advisor:

“We showed unwavering solidarity throughout this campaign. I’m so proud to be part of R.O.S.E., and so happy that we finally have a voice on the job. With our union, as SEIU 721 members, we can now begin transforming our working conditions. We’ve shown what we can do when we come together, and we call on all student workers to become active in our union. That’s the only way we’ll continue to win.

We’re disappointed that Occidental’s administrators shared misleading information about unions and our campaign during our election. Today, we call on Oxy administrators to live up to their stated values of building equity and cultivating a community of care by bargaining with us in good faith for our first union contract.”

Siena Cawrse, who will be a sophomore in the fall and works in donor relations:

“We’re a movement. Today, workers in higher education demand more, and it’s time for colleges to treat us — faculty, staff, and student workers alike — with dignity. We look forward to negotiating with Occidental, and we demand that campus administrators bargain in good faith and refrain from union busting.”

It’s time for change. Occidental student employees are tired of being treated as disposable, like our work doesn’t matter. We’re tired of low pay, we’re tired of the cap on our hours, we’re tired of disrespect. With a union, we can finally win fair working conditions that help us be the best students and employees we can be.”