Union membership could reopen for US research assistants.
Nature 487, 397-397 (2012)
Graduate-student assistants at private US universities may once more be eligible to join a union if a 2004 federal ruling that blocks formation of bargaining units is reversed. On 22 June, the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted to review the ruling. A solicitation for legal comment closes on 23 July. The 2004 ruling said that graduate students are not employees and cannot elect unions ; in doing so, it overturned a 2000 decision. Graduate students at New York University and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University have petitioned the NLRB for an election in the past two years. Nancy Cleeland, director of public affairs at the NLRB, says that no date has yet been set to review the ruling.