Melissa Atkins Discusses The Recent Surge in The Higher Education Labor Movement in The Hill

January 29, 2024

Obermayer labor and employment partner Melissa Atkins was quoted in The Hill on January 28, 2024, in connection with the rise of the higher education unions. According to the article, titled “At colleges, unions fight for equity as well as pay,” although the education labor movement is different from other sectors: more focused on equity issues, racial justice, and academic freedom, financial matters are still a primary concern.

The recent surge in the higher education labor movement coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic as educators fought over school openings and mask policies while witnessing unions in other industries score big wins.

“I think it was a perfect storm of COVID where people are just open now, realizing that some of the benefits that they thought were good weren’t,” said Melissa Atkins. “They want to be compensated like other unions. They see other unions getting these historic raises and think ‘well, why not us?’ That’s probably what they’re talking to their union leadership about.”

Read the full article here