Yale Challenges Grad Assistants’ Union Bid Before NLRB - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Yale Challenges Grad Assistants’ Union Bid Before NLRB

Email




by Diverse Staff

Yale University is challenging a bid by some of its graduate assistants to unionize in proceedings this week before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that other private U.S. universities are closely watching.

Yale University

Yale University

The challenge follows a ruling last month on another Ivy League union bid at Columbia University. The NLRB ruled that students who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities have a federally backed right to unionize. That ruling reversed guidance that had stood since 2004. Those students were seeking to form a union that would join the United Automobile Workers in order to have more of a voice in matters such as their health insurance and the timeliness on stipend payments.

Graduate students at many public universities, which are covered by state labor laws, already are unionized.

Yale contends that graduate assistants are students and not employees and therefore should not be allowed to organize. But it also is contesting the graduate assistants’ strategy in which students in 10 departments with strong pro-union sentiment have petitioned the NLRB separately for elections and to negotiate contracts.

Dr. Tamar Gendler, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale, said after testifying at the hearing in Hartford that the union’s approach sidelines the majority of graduate students from the discussion.

“A department-by-department approach to unionization is contrary to the interdisciplinary, collegial community of the graduate school,” she said.

According to Kristin Martin, legal counsel for the Yale students’ union (Local 33-UNITE HERE), the goal of seeking the power to have elections and negotiate contracts in individual departments is “to avoid unnecessary legal gamesmanship.”

Related:  Ford Diversity Fellows Urged to Defend Affirmative Action

The hearing on Yale’s challenge began Monday. It was expected to take five to eight days.

Contributing: The Associated Press

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Advocates View HBCUs Future Warily   Many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) still are in the process of rebuilding their student base after a precipitous decline in enrollments that began with a change in how the Parent PLUS loans were granted, and others fa...
Texas Might Increase Number of Community Colleges Offering Bachelor’s Degrees The Texas state legislature is considering expanding the number of community colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees in the state. Currently, three community colleges already offer a limited number of four-year degrees. Senate Bill 2118, if enacted...
Study: Reduced Community College Tuition Not Impacting 4-year Enrollment A steep drop in community college tuition typically sparks significant enrollment increases of recent high school graduates without diverting many of them from four-year, public institutions, suggesting the price cut makes higher education more attai...
College Renames Building Amid Link to Racial Segregation EWING, N.J. — The College of New Jersey has changed the name of a building amid concern its namesake was a racial segregationist. Paul Loser Hall was renamed Trenton Hall on Wednesday by the college board of trustees. The move comes a week after P...
Semantic Tags: