NLRB: Grad Students Can Unionize at Private Colleges

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Columbia University graduate students can unionize, effectively allowing their peers nationwide to unionize at private colleges. According to the NLRB’s 3-1 decision announced Tuesday, graduate students can be afforded the same protections as employees under federal labor law. Graduate students deserve labor-related protections when “they perform work, at the direction of the university, for which they are compensated,” specifically when they perform the duties of a teacher’s assistant. Because the NLRB oversees labor disputes in the private sector, the ruling does not apply to graduate students at public colleges.