New Rule Proposed to Prevent Graduate Student Unions at Private Colleges

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed a new rule that would take away the right to unionize from graduate teaching and research assistants at private colleges. 

The proposed rule, which was published last month, determines that students who are working for their institutions in “connection with their studies,” such as teaching and research, are not employees. 

If implemented, the regulations would reverse a 2016 ruling that gave graduate assistants at private universities collective bargaining rights. However, private colleges will still be able to recognize student unions if they wish, and some states may give graduate assistants additional rights.

Comments regarding this proposed rule must be received by the Board on or before November 22, 2019. Electronic comments may be submitted through  Review the Federal Register’s page on the proposed rule to find more details and other submission methods.