Judge rules University of Michigan grad strike unfair

The strike has forced the university to cancel some classes.

University of Michigan Diag.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a graduate student instructor strike at the University of Michigan amounts to an unfair labor practice.

David Peltz, an administrative law judge for the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, issued the decision Friday, the Detroit News reported Monday.

Peltz ruled that the graduate students’ union breached its duty to bargain in good faith by violating the no-strike provision in its current contract and recommended all union representatives end the strike. Their current contract ends May 1.

His decision is a recommendation to the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, which is expected to issue a final ruling. The union plans to appeal Peltz’s ruling to the commission, said Amir Fleischmann, a political science doctoral candidate and a union officer.

Separately, a Washtenaw County judge has twice refused to immediately stop the strike.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization bargains on behalf of more than 2,000 graduate student instructors, though union membership is not mandatory and not all of them went on strike on March 29. The university filed unfair labor practice charges the same day.

The strike has forced the university to cancel some classes. University officials say the walk-out also could delay grading. Classes for the current term end Tuesday.