The National Labor Relations Board says graduate students can also be university employees.
The decision involves Columbia University but you can bet they're reading it closely at UH.
The NLRB voted 3-to-1 to rule that when a graduate student is also an employee. Grad students DO work for their school and they ARE paid for the work.
Columbia argued that their principal relationship was educational, not economic. But the board said, "the employment relationship… is not foreclosed by the existence of some other relationship."
This is the fourth time the NLRB has ruled on the matter, and the third time it had reversed itself.
If the ruling stands, grad students will enjoy the same federal law protections as all workers, and will be able to unionize.
Columbia University says it is concerned about a third party interjecting itself in the education process.