Michael Schaus

The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago has decided that college athletes – who are getting a subsidized education and a shot at a multi-million dollar career – have the right to unionize as employees. The Labor backed effort to unionize college students who play games as an “education”, according to the Chicago NLRB, now have a seat at the “bargaining table” in college athletics… Because, obviously, consumers of higher education (AKA: “students”) don’t currently have any seat at the “bargaining table”.

The short story is that pockets of education consumers (which is the technical definition for individuals who voluntarily elect to attend private or public universities… ya know: “students”) who engage in sporting events feel they should have the same powers as, say, autoworkers. And now, the Labor Board has given the green-light to turning college sports into the athletic equivalent of General Motors… This will turn out great (just ask Detroit).

According to CNN:

The board's decision indicates that there was enough evidence presented that the athletes are employees of (Northwestern University) -- getting paid in the form of scholarships, working between 20 and 50 hours per week and generating millions of dollars for their institutions.

So… Good news to all those MIT students, and doctoral candidates who generate millions of dollars in government funding for their universities: You can now unionize as well! … Apparently dedicating yourself to university activities for an arbitrary number of hours per week, and being “compensated” with scholarship opportunities, qualifies you as an “employee” capable of unionizing your peers. According to the NLRB, an “employee” is regarded as someone who operates under the direct control of a manager while being compensated for their work. Athletes fit that definition, according to their union friendly hacks in Chicago, because they are “compensated” with scholarships and are managed by coaches and university staff.

Strangely, the NLRB gave no ruling on medical students, or other scholarship recipients… But, I guess that’s because the National Spelling Bee doesn’t generate the same level of interest as a college football bowl game.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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