The NLRB upheld a regional decision stating that Duquesne University must start recognizing the collective bargaining rights of part-time instructors who voted to unionize in 2012. It doesn’t seem like this ruling, however, is going to have much of an actual effect on the actions of Duquesne administration–who wholeheartedly stand by their opinion that the federal labor board has no control over the Catholic university.
A similar situation seems to be playing out at Yale University. However, Yale’s argument has more to do with the union’s strategy for organizing its workers. The administration is still not convinced that Local 33’s micro-unit approach (one that kept 90 percent of the doctoral students out of the vote) was legal.
At Harvard, one group of grad students is working to get another election underway after the failed attempt last year by encouraging the NLRB to overturn the results. This is not unlikely, considering the NLRB’s recent leanings when it comes to academic institutions. Most recently, in an unprecedented decision involving George Washington University, the Board held that undergraduate resident advisors are eligible to unionize.