Grad Workers Talk NLRB Ruling on Brian Lehrer Show

In August, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate workers at private institutions have the right to unionize.

The highly anticipated ruling was a victory, won with UAW support, for graduate workers at Columbia University and The New School, restoring union rights for teaching and research assistants there.

Workers are hoping the ruling will prompt higher education unions to be established at universities throughout the country. Now, the graduate workers are calling on universities to respect their restored right to fair, democratic elections.

Shortly after the NLRB announcement, UAW Region 9A Director Julie Kushner and Columbia University graduate worker Paul Katz joined the Brian Lehrer Show to talk about the momentous effect of the ruling on research and teaching assistants.

Kushner told Lehrer this is a solid ruling. “This decision carefully documents the statute of the National Labor Relations Act and Supreme Court decisions that say there’s nothing in the law that says you can’t have a dual relationship to an employer,” Kushner said.

Listen to their conversation in this Aug. 29 podcast courtesy of WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show.