NLRB Rejects Tufts Medical School Professors’ Bid To Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has rejected a bid by Tufts Medical School professors to unionize.

Full-time medical faculty at Tufts had taken the first steps to join the Service Employees International Union, a leader in the movement to unionize part-time professors across the country.

The professors filed papers with the National Labor Relations Board in December, 2015, arguing that they should be allowed to unionize, and be more involved in the school’s strategic planning.

On Tuesday, the national Labor Board denied that bid. Citing long-standing precedent, it said medical faculty – with labs and staff who report directly to them – are managers and therefore ineligible to form a union.

Tufts Medical School is praising the decision. The professors hoping to unionize are exploring whether they should appeal.

Meanwhile, full-time faculty at Boston University on Wednesday voted 4-1 to form a union. The SEIU says Tuesday’s decision should not affect that union effort.

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[Cross-posted at On Campus: the WGBH News Higher Education Blog]

Kirk Carapezza

Kirk Carapezza is the lead reporter for On Campus. Kirk has reported for Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis., and Vermont Public Radio in Montpelier, Vt. He's been a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad.

Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. When he's not reporting or editing stories on campus, you can find him posting K's on the Wall at Fenway.