Grad Students Rethink Union Strategies Following NYU-UAW Deal
Graduate students hoping to unionize at private institutions had for years been counting on a National Labor Relations Board ruling to set a new precedent for their legal status. The decision was expected in a case involving graduate students at New York University who wished to vote to form a union affiliated with the United Auto Workers. If the board ruled in favor of the students, it could have effectively reversed a 2004 ruling that said graduate student teaching assistants at private universities did not have a right to collective bargaining. But graduate students organizers are now regrouping after a surprise announcement from NYU and the United Auto Workers late last month: That they would withdraw their case from the NLRB, and work together to allow graduate student teaching assistants to hold a union vote mediated by the American Arbitration Association.