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GWC-UAW Local 2110

Board sides with Grads

NLRB today announced that grad students at private universities have the right to bargain collectively

Posted on
Aug 23, 2016

This story first appeared in Inside Higher Ed.

Graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities are entitled to collective bargaining, the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday.

The NLRB said that a previous ruling by the board -- that these workers were not entitled to collective bargaining because they are students -- was flawed. The NLRB ruling, 3-1, came in a case involving a bid by the United Auto Workers to organize graduate students at Columbia University. Many graduate students at public universities are already unionized as their right to do so is covered by state law, not federal law.

The ruling largely rejects the fights of previous boards over whether teaching assistants should be seen primarily as students or employees. They can be both, the majority decision said.

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