MERC Tables Vote On Whether To Allow University Research Assistants To Join Unions

Ann McClure's picture

A state labor relations panel will hold off on dealing with a controversial move to unionize university research assistants while the courts deal with a suit brought by Democrats dealing with a related issue.

A divided Michigan Employment Relations Commission tabled the issue of the graduate students after the state Court of Appeals on Monday reinstated the “immediate effect” on a law prohibiting the students from unionizing.

MERC director Ruthanne Okun said Tuesday that commission members voted 2-1 to table the topic. Members Nino Green and Christine Derdarian voted to in favor of postponing action, while Chairman Edward Callaghan wanted to move forward.

The court on Monday sided with House Republicans in their efforts to reinstate the law after an Ingham County Circuit Court issued an injunction on a move to set the law into effect immediately instead of 90 days after the end of the session.

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