George Washington U resident advisers working to unionize
- Resident advisers at George Washington University are petitioning the National Labor Relations Board for guidance on earning union status, which some observers say would vastly expand the movement for increased pay and benefits being waged by adjunct professors nationwide.
- University officials say that collective bargaining opportunities should not be extended to temporary employees and full-time students participating in that employment, but petitioning students say that their work involves extensive after-hours commitments to the physical, mental and academic well-being of other students.
- The NLRB has never ruled on private institutions with unionized resident advisor groups.
With continuing debate about rising costs in higher education, the campus labor movement is picking up more speed with student RAs working to earn higher pay and benefits alongside adjunct professors and teaching assistants. Their claims are different from adjuncts, who shoulder the majority of teaching loads and student engagement, but could present just as much of a negotiating headache for institutions in their presentation of work in student counseling and crisis intervention, tutoring and disciplinary management.
In the same way colleges have worked to prepare for federal changes to overtime laws, they will likely have to prepare for the possibility of student fees and tuition being lawfully be adjusted to factor for potential extra costs for housing.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Resident advisers at George Washington U. attempt to open a new union front