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Anti-graduate student union law tossed out

by: Eric B.

Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 14:14:48 PM EST

Rememeber a few years ago, when graduate assistants at the University of Michigan were fed up with having a lot more work pushed onto them by a university system that is being shorted resources by the state and tried to form a union, and then the state Legislature decided to land with both feet on top of them for no discernable reason? Turns out it was a wee mite illegal, what the Legislature did.

FLINT — A federal judge in Flint has struck down a Michigan law that blocked graduate student research assistants from joining a union at public universities.

The 2012 law was declared unconstitutional Wednesday for unusual reasons. Judge Mark Goldsmith says provisions of the law related to graduate students were in a bill that was originally drafted to address powers of emergency managers.

The reasons might have been unusual, but then again we live in unusually incompetent times, so it shouldn't surprise anyone.

Lest anyone think that this is a sign that graduate students at the U of M will finally get to form their union (over the objections of a minority of them, which the Mackinac Center regards as the greatest human atrocity since the Rape of Nanking), let's no forget that this won't stop our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect from ramming through a standalone piece of legislation intended to address the court's problem. They certainly did that with the wolf hunt.

Eric B. :: Anti-graduate student union law tossed out
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Aren't MSU grad students unionized?  They were when I was there.

The teaching assistants or the research assistants?
I expect the former to be the case based on my experience at U of M.  There, the teaching assistants have been unionized for decades as an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO teachers union.  I should know; I was a member from 1989 to 1994.  The research assistants don't teach, so they wouldn't likely be represented by a teachers union.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

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