Organizing of professionals at institutions of higher education presents a number of unique issues. More than 25 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in the Yeshiva University case that faculty members at that school were managers, exempt from the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), because of their authority in the academic governance of the University. Since that time, there have been numerous cases applying the Yeshiva decision and further developing the factors used by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the courts in determining whether full time faculty are managerial. Recently, as institutions have increased their reliance on adjunct and part-time faculty, there have been growing organizing efforts among those groups, which have presented separate legal issues. Finally, union efforts to organize graduate student teaching and research assistants has led to a series of NLRB decisions in which the NLRB first overruled 25 years of precedent by holding in 2000 that New York University graduate assistants were employees under the NLRA, and then reversed that holding four years later in the Brown University case.

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