Ruling Clears the Way for Graduate Students to Unionize

Graduate students at private institutions can now form unions, according to a 3-1 decision from the National Labor Relations Board, which redefines working and educational relationships between students and institutions.

The United Auto Workers, who petitioned for representation on behalf of graduate assistants at Columbia University, successfully argued that a working relationship with an institution or professor would have no bearing on the academic relationship between student and professor. Critics say the ruling opens the door to unnecessary litigation over workloads and academic freedom.

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