It’s Wednesday. Your morning news:
1. Duke grad students will unionize. The National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that graduate teaching and research assistants at Columbia University are entitled to collective bargaining.
This decision is certain to set off a chain of grad-student organizing at private universities across the United States. That includes Duke, whose adjunct faculty also mobilized and voted in favor of union representation earlier this year.
From the News & Observer:
Late Tuesday, a group of Duke University graduate students held a celebration near the Duke Chapel. Their aim is for a union vote at Duke in the spring.
…[Literature teaching assistant Bennett] Carpenter said he’d been in contact with colleagues at Cornell, Yale, Columbia and other private universities about organizing. Duke has 2,500 Ph.D. students, Carpenter said. He said he hopes the majority will agree to file with the labor relations board for a union election next spring. If grad students vote to join a union, Duke would have to recognize it.
…Graduate students at Duke watched in March as adjunct faculty at Duke voted by a large majority to unionize. A group called Duke Teaching First led the push to join the Service Employees International Union in hopes of better pay, benefits and job security. The Duke vote was the first in decades at a private university in the South, a region that generally has weak unions.
Carpenter said the faculty effort prompted graduate students to say, “Hey, if they can do that, then maybe we can, too.”
The Washington Post has an in-depth look at what the decision means.
2. Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law visits Raleigh hardware store? Lara Trump, who apparently is from Wrightsville Beach and went to N.C. State, stopped in at Briggs Hardware in downtown Raleigh on Tuesday. She’s back in her home state to try and scare up some female votes for Trump. WRAL reports:
[Briggs] owner Evelyn Scruggs talked about the difficulties her family business has faced because of the recession. Lara Trump said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would simply continue the Obama administration’s policies, while Donald Trump would do more to help small businesses and bring jobs back from overseas.
“When you have a good economy, when you bring jobs back that are otherwise overseas, they’re going to go to hard-working Americans,” Lara Trump said, adding that curbing illegal immigration also would open up jobs.
Right. There was also this:
Numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and CNN, have documented a string of small businesses hurt when Donald Trump reneged on contracts or refused to pay suppliers to his casinos and other businesses.
Lara Trump said she isn’t familiar with those complaints.
Lara doesn’t know anything about those complaints, OK?
3. Good police chief retiring. Fayetteville police chief Harold Medlock is retiring after twenty-eight years in law enforcement. Medlock is viewed by many as a model police chief. A reformer, he arrived in Fayetteville in 2013 following the revelation that, among other things, black drivers in Fayetteville were stopped three times as often as white drivers. Medlock subsequently asked the Department of Justice to investigate his own police department and suggest ways to improve policing. From WRAL:
During his tenure in Fayetteville, the department became one of the first law enforcement agencies in the state to equip its officers with body cameras. The department also has made more data on its policing publicly available, and it is implementing numerous suggestions for improvement made by the U.S. Justice Department after Medlock called inspectors in to help upgrade policies and procedures.
Medlock spoke at a press conference announcing the launch of opendatapolicingnc.com in Durham back in December.
4. Mike Pence in the house. The vice presidential candidate will make two stops in North Carolina today: one in Charlotte, one in Wilmington. WNCT:
First, Pence will stop in Charlotte to speak at the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry. This event is not open to the public.
Later, Trump will head to Wilmington for a rally at Manufacturing Methods, LLC. Doors open at noon and Pence takes the stage at 3:00 p.m.
Pence was in Pennsylvania yesterday, where he got his hair cut at a black barbershop. It was weird.
5. Vivian Connell has died. The Chapel Hill teacher and activist passed away from ALS Monday. The N&O has a nice obit.
Enjoy your Wednesday.