The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Harvard prevented a free and fair election on forming a graduate student union, clearing a path for another vote.

A year after the first vote was deemed too close to call and 300 ballots were challenged, the NLRB said administrators left more than 500 off the voter rolls and denied Harvard’s appeal of a previous decision that called for a new election.

The NLRB’s latest decision follows a 2016 ruling that found students who work as research assistants at private universities have the right to collectively bargain.

The United Auto Workers, which is leading the organizing effort at Harvard and other campuses, sees this as “a shot in the arm.”

A new election is expected early next year.

Earlier: At Harvard, Union Organizing In The Ivory Tower

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

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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.