The Federal labor board just overturned its standing ruling (h/t) that denied collective bargaining rights to teaching and research assistants, the ruling that schools relied on to fight the Northwestern football players’ attempt to unionize.
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.
… 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. [Emphasis added.]
If college presidents’ sphincters make a sound when they tighten, then should you listen carefully, that’s what you can hear in the background. You can bet somebody is going to make another run at unionizing college football players. It’s just a matter of time.