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Mackinac Center files motion against U of M resolution allowing grad research students to unionize

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s legal foundation has filed a legal motion against a University of Michigan resolution that allows graduate research students to unionize. The resolution recently passed by a 6-2 vote by the University’s Board of Regents.

The Mackinac Center filed a motion with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, on behalf of research graduate student Melinda Day, in an attempt to prevent the students from forming a union, reports the Midland News.

“The regents are intruding on the crucial relationship between me and my mentor,” said Day, in a Mackinac Center release. “Unionization could interfere with students’ ability to complete their dissertations and obtain their degrees, because it places a union between students and their faculty mentors. Our liberty is being lost, and I won’t stand by and let it happen.”

The unionization is aimed at helping grad students protect their pay and benefits as well as keep a balanced and fair workload. The Graduate Employees’ Organization, the group spearheading the unionization, question the Mackinac Center’s involvement, saying it is nothing but an attack on the public worker sector.

“The Mackinac Center is an outside party to the process,” according to a statement by the Graduate Employees’ Organization. “Given the center’s history of attacking the right of public employees to bargain collectively and the freedom of academic inquiry, it is questionable that the center’s action are in the best interest of any student, faculty member or employee of the University of Michigan.”

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