Skip to Content

Letter on Expanding the Power of Big Labor: The NLRB’s Growing Intrusion into Higher Education

September 11, 2012

Dear Representative:

The National Education Association (NEA) would like to share with you the enclosed materials in advance of this week’s hearing in the Subcommittees on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions and Higher Education and Workforce Training on “Expanding the Power of Big Labor: The NLRB’s Growing Intrusion into Higher Education.”

Attached for your information and use are:

  • NEA Fact Sheet: Bargaining Benefits Everyone In Education
  • NEA Amicus Brief submitted to the National Labor Relations Board in the Matter of Point Park University
  • NEA/AFT/AFL-CIO/AAUP Amicus Brief submitted to the National Labor Relations Board in the Matter of New York University and the Polytechnic Institute Of New York University.

NEA represents more than 215,000 higher education employees nationwide, including tenured/tenure track and contingent faculty, graduate assistants, education support professionals, and academic professional staff in two-year community and technical colleges and in four-year public and private colleges and universities. We strongly believe that collective bargaining is an essential right in higher education — one that helps ensure a meaningful voice in the workplace.

Every organization can benefit from the ideas and expertise of its employees. Bargaining ensures that career education employ­ees have a respected voice in the workplace and are involved in both identifying and solving school and classroom issues, which in turn promotes student learning. In an education setting, everyone connected to the school or campus—students, teachers, education support professionals, administrators, and taxpayers—benefits. A 2011 analysis published by the Employment Policy Research Network found that “evidence and examples drawn from the public and private sectors show that collective bargaining and workplace innovations based on a mutual interest, joint problem-solving approach can produce positive outcomes for employers, employees, customers, and citizens, especially dur­ing fiscal crisis….”.[i] What that means is that in economic times both good and bad, a smart public education employer—be it a K-12 school district or a higher education institution—can better serve students and taxpayers by negotiating in good faith with its union(s).

We hope the enclosed materials will be useful to you. Thank you for your attention to this important information.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations


[i] David Lewin, et al., “Getting It Right: Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications from Research on Public-Sector Unionism and Collective Bargaining,” Employment Policy Research Network, March 16, 2011, 30, http:// www.employmentpolicy.org/topic/402/research/getting-it-right