Support Teachers’ right to Strike and Collective Bargaining: Latest on NLRB

The so-called House of Representatives, the sworn enemy of the people, is going to investigate the prolabour policies of the National Labour Relations Board. The HR, which is the latest version of Jim Crow, antipoor, antiworking class, antielderly, antistudent, and support Israeli imperialism and nuclearism, is opposed to the growing NLRB support for graduate student and faculty efforts to join a union, organising collectively, seek better work conditions, benefits and academic freedom. The Republican dominated House of Representatives wants to return to the sweatshops of yore of the nineteenth century days of Haymarket, Homestead and Republic Steel Strike. I construe its authority as illegitimate and is an outlaw disgraceful chamber that should be resisted with non-violent direct action civil disobedience. It is government, or part of a dysfunctional government without the right to rule over “the people.” Saint Xavier University is mentioned in the article: a university that is resisting the efforts of its faculty-contingent “renewable” adjunct teachers-to organise and bargain collectively for more than $2300 per university level course! We already have a full-time and portion of full-time faculty union at the university. Of course if the adjuncts lose their right to organise, then the forty-year old union will become a virtual relic that any administration may choose to ignore or even decertify. Such action might lead us down the primrose path of the Chicago Teachers Union. However, I said “may choose” and we are not at the end of the adjunct rope, yet.

September 10, 2012

U.S. House Scrutinizes NLRB Over Recent Actions on Higher Education

By Peter Schmidt


The Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives is scrutinizing the National Labor Relations Board for its recent actions on labor organizing in higher education. > >

The House’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training plans to join the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, which oversees the NLRB, in holding a hearing on the labor board on Wednesday. The title of the hearing-“Expanding the Power of Big Labor: The NLRB’s Growing Intrusion Into Higher Education”-suggests it will have an adversarial tone, in keeping with Republican complaints about recent attempts by the NLRB’s Democratic majority to reverse decisions issued when Republican appointees held most of the board’s seats. > >

 In a statement announcing the hearing, the higher-education subcommittee says the NLRB is “taking steps to impose changes on private postsecondary institutions by re-examining its jurisdiction over graduate students, university faculty, and religious institutions,” and higher-education officials “are concerned the NLRB’s efforts to impinge into postsecondary schools could lead to reduced academic freedom and higher costs for students.” > >

Scheduled to testify are Michael P. Moreland, vice dean of the Villanova University School of Law; Peter M. Weber, dean of the Brown University Graduate School; Walter C. Hunter, who represents colleges in labor negoations as co-chairman of the higher-education practice group of the Littler Mendelson law firm; and Christian Sweeney, deputy organizing director of the AFL-CIO. > >

The NLRB is currently reconsidering a 2004 decision that precluded the unionization of graduate assistants at colleges. It is also rethinking its standards for determining which faculty members at private colleges should be classified as employees who can unionize and which should be classified as managers legally ineligible for union representation. > >

Last year it adopted new rules making it easier for private-college employees to unionize, and its regional officers have handed down decisions clearing the way for union elections at religious institutions such as Saint Xavier University and Duquesne University. Because the partisan composition of the board and the nature of its rulings vary greatly, depending on who occupies the White House, both unions and their critics believe the future course of labor law will be heavily influenced by the outcome of this year’s presidential election. >

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