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Unions, Student Assistants and the Law

Is it back to school or back to work for private college and university teaching assistants, research assistants and fellows? An historic August 23rd ruling by the NLRB said, in essence, these categories are employees first and students second. The case stems from a Columbia University group that sought to unionize. The NLRB’s decision, which overturns a decision from Brown University ten years ago, means if this category pursues and obtains union recognition, they can engage in collective bargaining activities and even go on strike. Nemeth Law attorney Kellen Myers offers highlights of the decision and a word of caution for Michigan’s more than 30 private colleges and universities.

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