Point Park University on Monday announced that it was dropping legal appeals designed to prevent its full-time faculty from unionizing. The decision could be a sign that a December ruling by the National Labor Relations Board will make it more difficult for private colleges to fight off union drives for full-time faculty members.
And that would be a significant shift away from the 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in NLRB v. Yeshiva University, a decision that has largely made unionization impossible for tenure-track faculty members at private colleges and universities, unless those colleges agreed.
In accepting the union, Point Park ended 12 years of legal battles to prevent collective bargaining by its faculty members, who voted in 2004 to be represented by the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America. A statement by the university noted that a prior administration at Point Park started the effort to block the union. “The current administration at Point Park does not wish to spend any resources on a potentially costly legal battle with its full-time faculty. Therefore, the university will recognize the right of the full-time faculty to form a union and begin collective bargaining accordingly,” said the statement.
As recently as May, however, the university was urging the NLRB to back off plans to apply its December ruling to Point Park. The decision by Point Park to drop its appeals follows the NLRB stating that it would apply the December ruling, which came in a case involving Pacific Lutheran University…read more