An attempt to unionize graduate student research assistants at the University of Michigan is not legal, according to the Detroit Free Press, MLive.com and AnnArbor.com.

Lansing political newsletters MIRS and Gongwer also covered the decision.

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission unanimously rejected a petition from the Graduate Employees Organization to unionize the students because they are just that — students — and not public employees. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation had filed a motion in the matter on behalf of Melinda Day, a student who objected to the unionization.

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“MERC enforced the law, rather than allowing a politically divided U-M Board of Regents to bypass it through a hasty resolution,” Patrick Wright, MCLF director, told the Free Press. “This resolution called for a public employee union election for a group of students who weren’t public employees in the first place. The regents have no legal authority to expand the statutory definition of public employees.”

Wright also discussed the case on "The Frank Beckmann Show" on WJR 760AM and on WILS 1320AM.

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