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Penn State Opposing Grad Students’ Effort to Form Union

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University’s president says the school is opposing efforts by graduate students to form a union to protect their bargaining rights as teachers.

The Coalition of Graduate Employees filed paperwork in February with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

The university said then it recognized the graduate students’ rights to try to form a union, but the Centre Daily Times reports President Eric Barron released a letter on Monday opposing the effort.

The letter says Penn State considers graduate students “to be students first and foremost.” He says that the school doesn’t oppose union activity but that the school’s relationship with students “is fundamentally different from that of an employer and employee.”

A spokesman for the graduate students’ group calls the letter “the beginning of an anti-union campaign.”

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