UM System curators move to appeal graduate employee ruling

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators has filed a notice of appeal that challenges a June decision regarding a lawsuit brought against the board by graduate student workers.

In the June decision, Circuit Judge Jeff Harris ruled that graduate workers are employees according to the state constitution. He also stated that the board must recognize the Coalition of Graduate Workers, a union of graduate student workers, as the collective bargaining representative for University of Missouri graduate workers.

UM System leaders immediately made it clear that they intended to challenge the decision. The board will appeal Harris’ interpretation of the state constitution and the coalition’s legitimacy as the designated bargaining unit for all MU graduate student employees. The board has three months to file detailed documentation.

The board’s notice of appeal is the latest action in this case, which has lasted for more than two years in the 13th Circuit Court and is centered around the state constitution’s definition of who is considered an “employee.”

It began when the coalition sued the board for recognition in May 2016. The board refused to recognize the union in April 2016, when 84 percent of graduate students voted in favor of making the coalition the sole collective bargaining unit of MU graduate student employees.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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