May 23, 2022

University of Chicago Loses Appeal in Library Union Case

From The Chicago Maroon:

The University of Chicago must recognize student library workers’ collective bargaining efforts, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said in a decision last week, which denied the University’s assertion that student workers are “temporary workers” and should therefore be excluded from collective bargaining rights.

The case was taken to the Seventh Circuit by the University to appeal National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) decision to deny the University a hearing. The University planned to use a hearing to argue that student library workers do not possess collective bargaining rights. The NLRB oversees collective bargaining disputes; however, disputes over the NLRB’s oversight may be taken to federal courts for judicial review.

Student library workers voted to unionize under the Student Library Employees Union (SLEU) in June of  2017, but the University challenged their vote, setting into motion an 18-month legal battle before the NLRB affirmed student workers’ right to unionize. The University disagrees that student workers possess collective bargaining rights and is asking the NLRB to consider students’ status, citing student library workers as “temporary” in their evidence brought forward to the Board.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

See Also: Full Text of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion
18 pages; PDF.

See Also: University of Chicago Files Petition with NLRB in Response to Library Unionization

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.