Illinois lawmakers ask, does research count as work? - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Illinois lawmakers ask, does research count as work?

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are considering whether graduate-student researchers can form unions.

The House Labor & Commerce Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to continue discussing a measure allowing all graduate students to collectively bargain. State law says students who work as teaching assistants can unionize but not those who work as research assistants.

Democratic Rep. Will Guzzardi of Chicago is the sponsor. He says research assistants and teaching assistants perform similar functions and should be allowed to unionize.

Republican Rep. Steve Reick (RYK') of Woodstock is against the measure. He says research isn't work because students use it to further their own education.

The Senate approved the measure last month.

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The bill is SB2546 .

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