Harvard University will bargain with its newly formed graduate student union. This move on the university’s part marks “the final and full validation of the organizing effort, ensuring Harvard will see a student union for the first time in history.”
Columbia University, however, continues to stand its ground in its refusal to bargain until the decision to allow students to unionize is reviewed again in federal court. Columbia’s use of the “technical refusal” puts the union in a tough spot:
Even if the NLRB rules in the union’s favor, Columbia could appeal and take the matter to a district federal court. Either party could then appeal a ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. That would be a particularly risky move for the union. A federal court ruling would only establish precedent in the region under its remit. But a Supreme Court ruling would establish nationwide precedent. Chances are good, with a conservative-leaning Court, that the ruling would be in Columbia’s favor.