Article Title

Annual Legal Update




This was a tumultuous year in the field of higher education collective bargaining, with many of the key issues yet to be resolved. The National Labor Relations Board was quite active in the area of academic bargaining in the private sector. In May and June of 2012, the NLRB invited extensive briefing in cases addressing two issues of vital importance to the academic community: whether faculty members are employees who are covered by the National Labor Relations Act (and can therefore unionize) or whether they are managers excluded from coverage (Point Park University, infra at pg. 26); and whether graduate student assistants are employees under the NLRA (NYU, infra at pg. 27). The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw all of the potential Board decisions into doubt when it ruled that President Obama’s recess appointments were unconstitutional, which would render any decisions by the current Board invalid (Noel Canning, infra at pg. 25). Nonetheless, the Board has continued to issue decisions, citing conflicting holdings from other circuits. Id.