US graduate students working as research and teaching assistants at private colleges and universities have the right to form unions, the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week.
The case, which involves graduate student assistants at New York University, reverses a position the board has taken since the mid-1970s. The ruling could speed up the unionization of graduate students in private universities across the country.
Unionization at public universities has begun in several states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, California and New York. Attempts to unionize by graduate assistants in public universities are covered under state law, not under the National Labor Relations Act.