On July 10, 2023, Region 10 of the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision directing that a union recognition election occur for PhD students at Duke University who are employed by the university to provide teaching or research services.
Duke sought to defeat the Union campaign by claiming that graduate student workers were not "employees" under the National Labor Relations Act. Attorneys Trisha Pande and Narendra Ghosh represented the Union before the National Labor Relations Board, which rejected the Employer's position. The Board found that "PhD students who provide instructional services in undergraduate or graduate-level courses or labs and who are compensated by and subject to the direction and control of Duke University are employees within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the Act." It therefor directed that a union recognition election occur. The proposed bargaining unit includes approximately 2,500 employees.
Click here to read the Region’s Decision and Direction of Election.