Tag Archives for " nlrb "

Columbia to bargain with grad student union

  • November 19, 2018

Columbia University said today it would bargain with its graduate student union, ending a years-long standoff with labor organizers.

Board Certified Grad Student Union

A framework agreement announced by the university “sets forth mutually agreed upon principles to guide negotiations toward collective bargaining agreements on wages, hours, and other working conditions for Columbia’s student research and teaching assistants and for our diverse postdoc community,” Lee Bollinger, the university president, said in a written statement.

Columbia refused to bargain with its graduate student union after a precedent-setting National Labor Relations Board decision in 2016, which found that student assistants working at private colleges are allowed to unionize. Early this year, Columbia administrators said they would seek review in federal appellate court.

Administrators faced a Dec. 4 strike deadline set by the union, according to the Columbia Spectator, which first reported the agreement. The NLRB certified the union last year.

The agreement announced today “includes substantive principles reflecting the respective interests of the parties,” Bollinger wrote. “For Columbia, chief among these interests is that any collectively bargained agreement will not infringe upon the integrity of the University’s academic decision making and that Columbia will retain the exclusive right to manage the institution consistent with our educational and research mission.”

Negotiations are scheduled to begin no later than Feb. 26.

Board Proposes Rule to Change its Joint-Employer Standard

  • September 13, 2018

NLRB Proposes Rule to Change its Joint-Employer Standard

Per POLITICO, the National Labor Relations Board will propose a joint employer rule on Friday that would reverse the Obama-era Browning-Ferris standard, handing a major win to businesses.

The proposed rule addresses the circumstances under which franchisors can be held liable for labor violations committed by franchisees and contractors. President Donald Trump’s NLRB sought to reverse Browning-Ferris last year, but its efforts were thwarted by ethics conflicts with one of Trump’s appointees, William Emanuel.

In a written statement, the board suggested that the proposal would revert to the pre-Obama standard.

“Under the proposed rule, an employer may be found to be a joint-employer of another employer’s employees only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine,” the board said.

The board’s three Republican members favored the change, while Democrat Lauren McFerran dissented. The fifth seat remains vacant.

NLRB to centralize decision-making, possibly overturn Purple Communications

  • August 1, 2018

NLRB to centralize decision-making, possibly overturn Purple Communications  

The NLRB will centralize decision-making, according to Bloomberg Law, in an effort to reduce the influence of regional directors, whom business groups see as too pro-labor.

In a memo sent to regional directors Monday, Beth Tursell, associate to the general counsel, said the changes would lead to higher quality and speed in decision-making.

“Under a centralized approach, decision-writers can expect to be called upon to draft decisions on short notice, and they will give that work the highest priorities,” she wrote.

The memo said that regional directors will be “expected to delegate” certain decision authorities to their supervisors, allowing supervisors to dismiss, withdraw or settle existing cases. Tursell said the approach was tested successfully in 17 of the 26 regional offices.

The National Labor Relations Board today asked for input on whether it should overturn Purple Communications, Inc., an Obama-era decision that allows employees to use corporate emails for union organizing after hours.

The notice, which asks the public to file briefs on the matter, suggests that the Republican-controlled board likely will reverse the Obama standard, barring organizers from using corporate email. While Purple Communications applied only to emails, the board also asked whether it should review the standard for other employer-controlled resources such as company phone lists.