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NLRB: Columbia University Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants Have Collective Bargaining Rights Under NLRA

September 12th, 2016

NLRB: Columbia University Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants Have Collective Bargaining Rights Under NLRABy Alidz Oshagan

On August 23, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board held in Columbia University that teaching and research assistants at Columbia University are employees and entitled to collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Thanks to the Board’s Columbia University decision, thousands of teaching and research assistants at private universities across the country now may form a union and collectively bargain with their university employers.

The Board’s 3 to 1 decision reverses the Board’s prior Brown University decision which held that graduate students at Brown University were not employees and had no collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act. In overturning Brown University, the Board in Columbia University wrote, “The Brown University Board’s decision. . .deprived an entire category of workers of the protections of the Act, without a convincing justification in either the statutory language or the policies of the Act.”

The full decision can be read here.

Willig, Williams & Davidson joins private university teaching and research assistants in celebrating this victory.

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