The comment period for the new proposed rule on student employee status has closed. Unfortunately, some people and organizations have written comments in support of the rule change and we now have a limited time to respond directly to their claims through the NLRB’s rebuttal period. Use our rebuttal form to see what some folks have said, and tell the NLRB that they do not speak for you. Guidelines below: 

  • Rebuttal comments must be UNIQUE to be counted.

  • Rebuttal comments must reference another comment.

  • You do not have to directly quote the referenced comments.

  • You can submit more than one rebuttal comment.

Like we did with the comment period, AFT Academics will organize around the collection of rebuttal comments to ensure the case for student workers’ rights is made as strongly as possible. The comments we collect on our form will then be printed and hand-delivered to the NLRB by graduate union members in D.C. before the February 28th deadline.  

Please note that we will be updating this page as more comments are posted by the NLRB which support the rule change. So come back in a couple days!
















We have ended rebuttal collection on our site so that AFT union members can print and hand deliver your submissions to the NLRB on Friday. You can still submit a rebuttal directly to the Federal Registry until 11:59pm ET on Friday, February 28, by completing the steps below:

  1.  Go to the Federal Registry’s website
  2. Write your rebuttal in the box
  3. Scroll down and submit
  4. Come back to this page next week for updates!


“I want my research and teaching abilities to influence my career, not some opaque bureaucracy staffed by very ideological people I don’t agree with, or even understand.”  - Anonymous Graduate Worker

“I believe starting a PhD and accept its stress and suffering is an entirely voluntary choice, in exchange for the intellectual rewards (which cannot be negotiated into a contract).” - Anonymous Graduate Worker


American universities could not function without the labor of graduate student workers. As graduate workers we teach university level courses, publish work, and do research that brings our institutions prestige, grant money, and lucrative patents – yet we have no real power over the decisions that impact our work and lives. 

Since the historic 2016 Columbia decision reaffirming union rights for graduate workers, more than 20,000 of us have come together to form our unions, and tens of thousands more are currently organizing.

In a desperate attempt to stifle the incredible momentum of the graduate union movement, the Trump NLRB has proposed a rule which would reverse the Columbia decision in order to strip away our victories, and deny us our rights.

Together, we can fight back against Trump’s anti-union NLRB. Whether you are a graduate worker or an ally, please make your voice heard.

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