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Late April date set for Northwestern union vote

Kain Colter AP

Three weeks from Friday, we should have a much clearer idea as to which immediate direction the movement toward unionizing college sports is headed.

A spokesperson from the National Labor Relations Board confirmed to the Associated Press Wednesday that Northwestern football players are scheduled to vote on forming a union April 25.  Exactly a week ago today, the Chicago regional office of the NLRB ruled that Northwestern football players meet the standards under federal guidelines to be represented by a union.

The petition that triggered the ruling was was filed by the National College Players Association on behalf of former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), and had the backing of the United Steelworkers union.  The NLRB agreed with CAPA’s argument that the football players are employees of the university.

As expected, Northwestern announced two days later that it would be appealing the ruling.  The university has until April 9 to request a formal review, the Chicago Tribune reported.  The paper went on to write that the vote “could be delayed if the NLRB in Washington accepts the request before April 25, but that’s unlikely.”

A total of 76 Northwestern football players are eligible to vote for or against a union.  If a majority of the players vote for a union, CAPA would then have the legal right to collectively bargain with the university on the behalf of the players.

Such a development, however, would likely be years down the road even with an affirmative union vote as most expect the case to wind its way through the federal court system and ultimately wind up in the lap of the United States Supreme Court.

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9 Responses to “Late April date set for Northwestern union vote”
  1. youthinkyouknowbutyoudontknow says: Apr 2, 2014 9:40 PM

    Northwestern fans should be the ones forming a union with the way that team plays.

  2. sportfan2 says: Apr 3, 2014 7:30 AM

    Union membership has been declining for years and this bunch want to form one. This is going to be interesting.

  3. witchrunner says: Apr 3, 2014 8:11 AM

    Negotiations should be pretty easy though. “Guys, I know that we’ve always given you a free education in the past, but that’s a no can do any more. You realize that now that you are employees we have to cover your employment taxes, withholdings, worker’s comp. etc. So, that means that you’ll have to come up with the 30% or so of the tuition if you want to stay in college.”

  4. friarjack61 says: Apr 3, 2014 9:54 AM

    I thought that ‘jocks’ who attend NU, were academically above many, who attend other schools. But that does not seem to be the case, because one might be grade smart, but have little or no common sense !
    Monies from the football programs, in all major schools, contribute to the support, of ALL the other sport activities on campus, both men’s and woman’s .
    So, the brainless jocks, want to take monies from all the sports, so the can have bucks, for more tattoos, beer, and cars.
    If the schools EVER, pay stupid jocks for any reason, all scholarships should be revoked; and, if they are required to attend classes, start charging big bucks for room, board, and books. And, require that they take and pass, both an English and English Composition classes.

  5. lifelong says: Apr 3, 2014 1:32 PM

    @witchrunner: The education is not “free.” They earn it by playing football. If the decided that they don’t want to play football anymore, their scholarship is getting taken away. The education is about as free as your paycheck. If you decide you want to stop working, your paycheck will get taken away as well.

    @friarjack61: Why is the responsibility of football and basketball players to fund all of the other sports activities through their efforts? If they are so great and worthwhile, they should come up with their own funds. Do you support socialism? Why do you want to take from the haves (football and basketball players) and give to the have-nots (all other sports).

  6. friarjack61 says: Apr 3, 2014 2:32 PM

    Dear ‘brainless’ lifelong,

    Tell me how much it cost a school to have men’s and woman’s programs in swimming, baseball, field hockey, softball, lacrosse, and how much revenue is generated by ticket sales. If you use a balance sheet for each sport, you’ll learn that without the revenues from football, and some from BB, these other sports would not be available to the real student athletes !
    Socialism: Talk to Obama !

  7. lifelong says: Apr 4, 2014 11:41 AM

    @friarjack61: you are completely missing the point, which is unsurprising. The reason all of those non-revenue sports exist is because money is taken away from football to pay for them. Athletic departments are essentially taking away economic value that football players generate and giving it to all of the other economically unsuccessful sports. In other words, wealth that is generated on the backs of football players is being redistributed to field hockey, lacrosse, etc.

    This is socialism. You may agree with it, and that is fine. But it doesn’t change the fact that it is socialism. Congratulations for being a socialist.

  8. friarjack61 says: Apr 4, 2014 1:01 PM

    Dear ‘asswipe’ lifelong. When your liberal philosophy, is directed to world politics, use the term socialism; but in my world, which existed before yours, Socialism existed in the Communist society, and became a product of same. You liberals use the term to fit your position; whereas, we Americans who have served our Country, will use the term ‘share’, not socialism, to describe policy in non-political areas. Any school using major sports funds to support other activities, is not listed on/in any accounting sheet as socialism.
    Go sing a song with your Marxist-Socialist Obama. Colleges and Universities do not need your socialistic classification, of their required actions.
    Congratulations to you for supporting Communist Socialism.

  9. lifelong says: Apr 7, 2014 10:48 AM

    @friarjack61: ok, then by your “sharing” logic, all coaches in an athletic department should get paid the same wage regardless of sport since you’re fine with all athletes in the athletic department getting the exact same compensation.

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