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University of Missouri Graduate Student Workers Can Unionize, Judge Rules

Three years after a high-profile dispute over school-paid health insurance subsidies, graduate students at the University of Missouri System’s flagship campus in Columbia have won a key victory in their fight to unionize.

In May 2016, about nine months after University of Missouri graduate student workers had their health insurance subsidies removed - a decision that was quickly reversed - the university notified graduate students that it would not recognize their subsequent attempts to unionize.

But in a decision Thursday afternoon, circuit court judge Jeff Harris ruled that MU’s graduate student workers fit the legal definition of employees, and because of this, they’re entitled to unionize under Missouri state law. The university must now recognize the Coalition of Graduate Workers as the exclusive collective bargaining agent for MU’s graduate workers.

The coalition responded to the decision on Facebook Thursday evening, saying, “Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we plan.”Loading...

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