In a shameful, if unsurprising, assault on the right of all workers to organize, the Bush National Labor Relations Board overturns the historic and unanimous NYU decision recognizing graduate students’ right to organize with a 3-2 decision buying into the Levin-Simmons-Bollinger-Rodin line that graduate students employees, whose low-wage work makes the university function, are not employees with workers’ rights. This is of course, what they used to say about public employees, about teachers, and about all workers before that. None of which stopped those workers from courageously organizing anymore than this decision will be able to halt the national movement for graduate student unionization. As the dissenting judges wrote:
…the majority’s reasons, at bottom, amount to the claim that graduate student collective bargaining is simply incompatible with the nature and mission of the university. This revelation will surely come as a surprise on many campuses -not least at New York University, a first rate institution where graduate students now work under a collective bargaining agreement reached in the wake of the decision that is overruled here…Today’s decision is woefully out of touch with contemporary academic reality.
Shame on the Bush administration for another callous and backwards slap in the face of all workers, and shame on the Yale administration for its years of lobbying for this result.