Uncategorized — February 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Michigan Senate Majority Leader introduces bill to prohibit university students from unionizing


Oops. Almost forgot one.

In the Michigan Republican’s never-ending effort to stamp out every single public employee union in the state, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville introduced legislation this week to make sure university graduate student research assistants (GSRAs) don’t get any wise ideas.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has introduced a bill that would bar graduate student research assistants from unionizing.

The bill comes as debate swirls at the University of Michigan about whether GSRAs are employees, and thus allowed to unionize, or are students, and therefore ineligible to be represented by labor unions. The Michigan Employee Relations Commission (MERC) is holding hearings on the issue.

The bill, which Richardville, R-Monroe, introduced Wednesday, would end the debate by amending the state public employee act.

The bill says, “An individual serving as a graduate student research assistant or in an equivalent position … is not a public employee entitled to representation or collective bargaining rights under this act.”

This has been a hot potato as rulings have been both in support of and against the formation of a graduate student union.

Much like the athletes that bring in tons of money for the university but who receive far less in return, Republicans want to be sure that graduate student research assistants are kept as near-slaves, working ridiculous hours without the ability to bargain collectively for their wages.

Because that’s just how Republicans roll, don’tchya know.