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Ruling: Graduate Students Cannot Unionize

July 28, 2004

Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-2 along party lines that graduate students at independent institutions do not have the right to unionize. In a case involving Brown University, the NLRB found that graduate assistants are primarily students, not employees, and “have a predominantly academic, rather than economic, relationship with their school.”

The ruling overturned the board’s 2000 decision that required colleges and universities to recognize such unions. The full text of the decision is available here.