Student Teaching and Research Assistants Now Considered “Employees” May Have Right to Unionize
On August 23, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided that graduate and undergraduate student teaching assistants, as well as graduate and departmental research assistants are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act and may unionize. My apologies in advance, but to paraphrase Bluto Blutarsky (John Belushi) in National Lampoon’s Animal House: “Another 12 years of precedent down the drain.”
Stay tuned . . . we have not fully digested this decision but will do so shortly. But what we do know as of right now is that private colleges and universities are exposed to unionization. Just ask Columbia University and its union antagonist – Graduate Workers of Columbia – GWC, UAW. The “UAW” stands for United Autoworkers of America.
And public colleges and universities may also feel the bite of today’s decision if and when union advocates press the issue of voluntary recognition. Such has been the case in many states, including Indiana, with other groups of employees, e.g., clerical, housekeeping, and even law enforcement. Today’s decison will almost certainly fuel that fire.
For more information on this decision, contact Mark Ford, Emmanuel “Manolis” Boulukos, or a member of our Colleges and Universities practice.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.