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Columbia Spectator Staff

April 3, 2000: The National Labor Relations Board rules that graduate assistants at New York University are employees of the university and are therefore allowed to hold an election to determine union representation.


Week before April 24, 2000: NYU appeals NLRB decision.


April 25, 2000: Union election begins at NYU.


November 1, 2000: The NLRB overturns NYU's appeal.


November 13, 2000: NYU and UAW agree on election results and thereby assure formation of first graduate assistant union at a private university.


March 1, 2001: NYU agrees to begin collective bargaining with graduate assistant union.


March 29, 2001: Members of Graduate Student Employees United file with the NLRB for union representation.


April 20, 2001: Hearings before the NLRB commence to determine whether Columbia's teaching and research assistants will get a union representation election. The hearings continue to be held twice weekly throughout the summer.


April 26, 2001: NLRB hearings supervisor Rhonda Gottlieb rules that the Board will not consider the nature of work teaching assistants do in deciding whether Columbia's TAs and research assistants are employees.


May 7, 2001: Brown teaching and research assistants file petition with NLRB requesting union representation.


May 30, 2001: 75 members of Columbia's faculty sign a statement in support of letting graduate students decide whether a union will represent them. A few weeks later, Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer (both D-NY) send a letter to University President George Rupp expressing support for an NLRB-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether GSEU will be the bargaining agent for Columbia's TAs and research assistants.


November 16, 2001: NLRB rules that teaching and research assistants at Brown have right to a union election, making Brown the first Ivy League university and the second private university in the United States to hold a union election.


December 6, 2001: Brown University appeals NLRB ruling; Brown holds union election.


January 28, 2002: NYU and graduate assistant union sign a contract, the first ever between a private university and unionized graduate students.


February 13, 2002: The Regional Director of the NLRB rules that TAs and research assistants at Columbia are employees entitled to union representation election. The NLRB also rules in favor of an expanded bargaining unit, almost doubling the number of students included in the bargaining unit.


March 6, 2002: GSEU announces that it will not appeal the NLRB ruling. Columbia announces that it will appeal the ruling.


March 13, 2002: Union elections at Columbia scheduled to begin.