University leaders to appeal ruling saying grad students are employees

5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
By: Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Graduate students at the University of Missouri celebrated Thursday after they were officially considered employees, but the celebration may not last.

Judge Jeff Harris of the 13th Circuit approved the decision for graduate students to unionize on Thursday.

On Friday, UM System President Mun Choi said in a press conference the university plans to appeal the decision. 

"We do not agree that graduate students are employees," Choi said.

Eric Scott, a member of the Coalition for Graduate Workers (CGW), said he is frustrated after what he called repeated assertions by university leaders that they did not want bad relationships with graduate student employees. 

"It was just that they felt that there was not good legal guidance on whether or not graduate student employees had the right to unionize," Scott said.

Coalition members also expressed concern when some officials said they had not even read the judge's ruling.

"We haven't even had a chance to talk with legal counsel," UM Chair David Steelman said. "I'm a lawyer, I haven't had a chance to read the opinion."

The coalition began in 2015 when university officials told graduate student employees they would no longer receive health insurance.

"We were told by a meeting with the senior administrator, at that time, 'you know, if you would have been unionized, then we couldn't have done this to you,'" Scott said. "So we thought, well that sounds like a pretty good reason to start organizing."

Coalition co-chair Simona Simkins said the decision made on Thursday was a victory for the group.

"We were ecstatic," Simkins said. "We were incredibly happy. Everyone was completely surprised when we all got the news."

She said hearing the announcement on Friday was disappointing, but not surprising.

"We were prepared for that. We have understood that that is a definite possibility," Simkins said. 

Natalie Teague, a lawyer for the Missouri National Education Association (NEA), said the plan to appeal will result in further delays to collective bargaining. But the group is remaining positive. 

"We are just so pleased with the decision," Teague said. "Judge Harris' decision was so well reasoned and it follows established Missouri law, that we are confident that it will be upheld."

Choi, Steelman and the other curators went into a closed meeting after the conference to discuss the ruling and possible responses by the university.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestec assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end will not be filed, according to the... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri recently joined the ranks of many colleges across the country by starting up an... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — The southwest Missouri city of Ozark that had said it was removing a Christian cross from... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death downtown. CPD announced the investigation on Twitter just after 4... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for prescribing... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:48:09 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told officers he was planning to kill someone and was "kinda... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:42:49 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri's Secretary of State waits for a response from the State Auditor, a political expert weighed... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:41:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has been dispatched to Ballenger Lane in North Columbia 11 times so far this... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Walgreens is giving Missouri a new tool in the fight against opioid abuse, and it's a simple... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:02:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
TAOS - A school bus holding 38 students ranging from K-12 was hit head-on Tuesday morning while stopped on Dove... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:19:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Both U.S. senators from Missouri are demanding answers about the death of a veteran after an... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:58:05 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gunfire in the neighborhood around Blue Ridge Elementary School led to a modified lockdown Tuesday afternoon, and police... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:39:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools has named the first football head coach for the new Capital City High... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:55:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The agreement between the Jefferson City School District and the city will reimburse the school district up... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
12am 44°
1am 43°
2am 42°
3am 40°