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Deirdre Fulton – In Major Ruling, Grad Students Win Right to Unionize at Private Universities

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said Tuesday that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at private colleges are employees—a ruling with “big implications” for both higher education and organized labor in the United States.

Inside Higher Ed explains:

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 to 1, came in a case involving a bid by the United Auto Workers to organize graduate students at Columbia University. The decision reverses a 2004 decision—which has been the governing one until today—about a similar union drive at Brown University.

Paul R. Katz, one of the Columbia graduate students involved in the organizing efforts, told the New York Times: “We are elated that the NLRB has overturned Brown and restored our collective bargaining rights.”

This is a huge milestone for graduate workers across the country! pic.twitter.com/RLVpuCNcLY

— GWC-UAW (@GWCUAW) August 23, 2016

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