ACE filed a brief yesterday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as it decides whether to allow private college graduate students to unionize, in two cases involving New York University.
The NLRB last month requested parties to file briefs on several questions in the cases, including whether the NLRB should modify or overrule an earlier decision which held that graduate student assistants at Brown University (RI) did not have rights to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act.
ACE argued in the brief that petitioners sought “to contravene decades of well-reasoned and settled Board precedent and policy. Such a decision will impact adversely the way in which universities are able to address significant issues in graduate student education, including financial aid, degree requirements, and similar matters, and will intrude unnecessarily upon academic freedom and the relationship between university professors and their students.”
“Students enroll in graduate school to complete their higher education, not to work for wages. Their relationship with the university is fundamentally one of a student and teacher, not master-servant," the brief concluded.
Joining the ACE brief were the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.