Melissa Atkins Discusses Strikes at Universities Across the U.S. in an Interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer

April 14, 2023

An interview with Obermayer’s labor and employment partner Melissa Atkins was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer on April 13, 2023. In the article, titled “Why higher-education workers at Rutgers and beyond are striking, according to a Philly labor lawyer,” Melissa, who represents universities and other public employers in collective bargaining with unions, discussed the recent Rutgers strike, offering an insight into the employer’s perspective. 

“While it’s impossible for schools to give their employees everything they ask for, employers need to come to the table willing to make concessions. Her frequent advice to employers is to try to work out their disagreements with workers before getting lawyers involved,” Melissa said.

Melissa also spoke about her quote in a January article from the Los Angeles Times, where she shared her prediction that there would be more organizing and striking among higher-education workers. According to her, COVID-19 and employees wanting more benefits surrounding sick time and livable wages and Biden’s pro-union position, are the reason behind the strikes across all industries. 

Read the full interview here