The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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RAs elect to establish RA union on campus

Photo+Courtesy+of+OPEIU+Local+153
Photo Courtesy of OPEIU Local 153

With a 74-2 vote in favor of the union, Bucknell’s Residential Advisors (RAs) have joined Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153 as of April 4. For the union to be certified, 50%+1 of RAs who participated in the election must have voted yes; 97% of participating RAs voted yes, and out of all current RAs, 67% voted yes.

For some current RAs, the change in work conditions that the union signifies feels long overdue.

“Change has been long promised by the university, and long-postponed,” Brooke Corpuz ’26, current RA, stated. “It is time for Bucknell RAs to have their voices heard and for something to be done. We are tired of talking, and ready for action.”

“I’m so glad to have a union and finally feel as though I have a voice within my own employment,” said Bryce Merry ’25, current RA. “As a collective, we can now work to better our conditions and better the conditions of those who come after us. I’m grateful for everyone who has had a hand in this union, and I am looking forward for what’s next!”

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Now that the RAs have successfully established a union, they now look towards the bargaining process. This begins with the Organizing Committee collecting feedback on what current RAs would like to see changed about the RA role. An elected Bargaining Committee will then draft proposals and policies based on that feedback and share those with all RAs for more feedback. Once agreed upon, those proposals will become the basis of the collective bargaining sessions between Bucknell and the union. Negotiations are expected to take a few months to a year to conclude, and the process will end with a majority of RAs voting to ratify the new contracts.

Current RA Grace Garvey ’25 “can’t wait for the bargaining process to get started and to see all of our hard work come to fruition.” 

“I’m so proud of all the work that the RAs at Bucknell have done. It’s so amazing to see that everyone has come together to make their voices heard on campus,” Garvey added.

Bucknell RAs are the ninth group of RAs to unionize with OPEIU Local 153, following RAs at Wesleyan, Barnard, Fordham, University of Pennsylvania, Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Swarthmore and Emerson.

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Dora Kreitzer
Dora Kreitzer, Editor-in-Chief

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