Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 05 July 2021
A Tale of Seven Cases – Faculty Unions in the United States – From Yeshiva To Elon: Is It Time to Review Yeshiva and the Positions of Church-Sponsored Colleges and Universities As Well?
Richard J. Hunter, Jr., Hector R. Lozada, John H. Shannon
Seton Hall University, USA
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Keywords: National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board, Managerial Employees, Religious Exemption, Contingent Faculty, Adjunct Faculty
This article is a summary discussion of the main issues faced by faculty at private, often church-sponsored, universities who sought to be represented by a union in collective bargaining with their employers. The discussion begins by tracing the origins of the rule that faculty at private universities are managers and not employees under the aegis of the National Relations Act in the Supreme Court case of Yeshiva University. The summary then follows developments over the years up to the most recent decision of the National Labor Relations Board that sanctioned the efforts of adjunct professors at Elon University to seek union representation. In examining these two book-end cases, the article discusses issues relating to the effect of the religion clauses of the First Amendment in the context of the National Labor Relations Board’s shifting views on the topic. Last, the authors discuss unionization in the context of church-sponsored colleges and universities. Is it now time for the Supreme Court to review its seminal decision in Yeshiva University and for church-sponsored colleges and universities to rethink their positions as well?
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