Headline September 14, 2016/ ''' *THESE EXPLOITED GRADUATE STUDENTS* '''



*UNION IN THE IVORY TOWER*  : Time to give exploited  *graduate students*  a say in their working conditions    -and their future.

In a corrective action more than a decade in the making, the   National Labor Relations Board  ruled just recently that  graduate students  who work as- 

*Teaching and research assistants at  private universities have the right to unionize*.

The ruling reverses a  misguided decision   by the board in 2004, which held that  graduate students  at   Brown University  were primarily students, not employees, and thus had no standing to form a union.

The new ruling,  issued in response to a petition by graduate students at Columbia University, found  graduate students  to be employees if they are paid to do jobs that are overseen by the university-

*Even if they have other relationships to the institution*.

The new ruling also notes that nothing in  federal labor law  indicates that university employees are to be treated any differently than other workers when it comes to the right to organize.

Yet the earlier ruling simply accepted the  university assertions that unionization was incompatible with academic life because-

It would intrude on  academic freedom,  the relationship between graduate students  and  professors, grading procedures and  exam formats.

None of that has turned out to be true in the experience of  public universities with graduate student unions.

Some  35,000   teaching and research assistants  across the United States are currently in unions.

The board pointed  to research conducted in  public universities, many of which have long been unionized  under state laws. 

The studies found that unionization either had no-impact on academic matters or had actually fostered improvements in university life.

This recent week's ruling allows graduate assistants to vote on whether to unionize,  and if they do,  for the students and the universities to bargain in good faith.

Columbia has roughly  3,000 graduate assistants, as does  Harvard, where graduate assistants are also expected to vote on forming a union.

The question going forward is the extent to which those new unions will help improve working conditions in academic life.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and !E-WOW! -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Future For Tomorrow '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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