The fight to organize graduate students at Harvard has come to a standstill. Although the results of the November election were in favor of unionization, an NLRB hearing is on the books to review objections filed by both parties and to determine whether the challenged ballots should be counted. It is possible that a re-vote will be cast.
Duke University would have been in the same bucket as Harvard had organizers not decided to withdraw their petition to organize. Meanwhile, six Yale departments have voted to form unions. Yale took a different approach than Harvard and Duke and opted to organize in micro-units, rather than as one large union. Arguments for both approaches can be read here.
At Loyola University, faculty members in the Theology Department must now be excluded from a proposed bargaining unit. This comes from a split NLRB decision
Continue reading It’s All Academic
The unintended consequences to allowing graduate students to organize under the protection of the NLRA are bound to come home to roost, and sooner rather than later. Here are three examples that go beyond the obvious “benefit” of collective bargaining:
university honor codes and other university policies regulating the conduct of students are likely going to have to be tossed into the circular file the elimination or substantial alteration to graduate student councils the university’s academic relationship with the graduate students
Just consider that last one for a moment. Supposed a grad student, while in the process of seeking to organize a union, receives a poor grade. Will the student claim retaliation, and will the NLRB find its docket filled with grade challenge cases?
Continue reading Education Taking Big Hits
Here’s an interesting side story. The AFL-CIO is walking away from the National Labor College in suburban Maryland, instructing the leaders of the debt-ridden institution to close its doors.
Is the AFL-CIO afraid the 40 or so adjunct professors will join the recent trend and organize?
Fun question to ask, but probably not the real answer.
In typical Big Labor fashion, before union membership rolls plummeted off the map, the college over-built during needed renovation and saddled the campus with debt, over $30 million of which still remains.
In a non-Big-Labor-like move, the college has already migrated most courses online, thus eliminating the need for a large number of jobs required to sustain a physical education institution.
For Susan Schurman, the first Labor College president, the real mystery lies not in why the Federation did nothing after the fact, but rather how the AFL-CIO allowed the college to
Continue reading AFL-CIO Hangs Labor College Out to Dry
It’s been a quiet few weeks on the national scene where government largess to Big Labor is concerned. Maybe the left/union/progressive front is waiting for the furor to die down over the Chicago teachers strike … maybe they’ve been told to lay low for the rest of the presidential campaign … or maybe they’re just gasping for air.
Meanwhile, there are some local issues steaming on the sidelines.
In Michigan, it is projected that up to $40 million may be spent, by both sides, in an arm-wrestling match over a referendum to add a constitutional guarantee for collective bargaining, which would make the rust-belt state the first state to do so. This is one to watch.
However, as citizens in California can attest, such a referendum
Continue reading Union Bailout Update