Columbia Appeal May Slow Grad Student Bargaining To A Crawl

Law360, New York (February 1, 2018, 10:10 PM EST) -- Columbia University's decision to challenge the National Labor Relations Board's stance that graduate assistants can unionize will kick-start a yearslong legal battle that may prompt numerous other private colleges to slow-walk bargaining at their own schools in the hope that the board's position gets flipped, lawyers say.

Columbia provost John H. Coatsworth sent a campuswide letter on Tuesday that said the school would appeal the central holding in the NLRB's August 2016 decision that student assistants at Columbia and other private colleges are statutory employees under the National Labor Relations Act who have a right to unionize.

In taking that route,...

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