The National Labor Relations Board notified the College and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) today that it will require a full hearing to consider the important legal questions raised by the election petition filed on behalf of the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee (K-SWOC) on Oct. 18, 2021, including whether undergraduate student workers are considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act.
The NLRB’s action responds to an Oct. 21 motion filed by Kenyon College to dismiss or stay K-SWOC’s petition, which seeks an election to determine whether all undergraduate student workers at Kenyon should be represented by the UE for purposes of collective bargaining.
“The Employer raises several important points of consideration regarding the student-workers, including the nature of their work, work schedules, job tenure, renumeration and their relationship with the Employer,” said NLRB Region 8 Director Iva Choe in her decision letter.
The NLRB also acknowledged the challenges that the federal education privacy statute, FERPA, presents in the context of its proceedings, noting that changes to those procedures may be necessary to accommodate the student privacy concerns that Kenyon raised. The NLRB pledged to work “diligently and creatively” with the parties to find ways to accommodate those legitimate concerns while processing K-SWOC’s petition.
“We are pleased that the NLRB has acknowledged the important legal questions raised by the College,” said President Sean Decatur. “As the NLRB Regional Director indicated in her decision, these issues can only be decided after a full hearing, where both Kenyon and the union can present evidence.”