To join, the athlete would pay the $9 monthly membership dues paid by teachers, corrections officers, health care workers and others working for state agencies.
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A North Carolina union for public workers will allow scholarship student-athletes at public universities to join as state employees.
The State Employees Association of North Carolina’s governing board voted Friday to open the group’s membership to athletes at the state’s 17 public campuses, which would include Atlantic Coast Conference members North Carolina and North Carolina State.
The union decision comes two months after a federal labor official ruled that football players at Northwestern could create the nation’s first union of college athletes. That ruling is being appealed to the National Labor Relations Board, and some Northwestern players say they voted against forming the union in an election. The results have not been released.
The North Carolina union’s decision would not require a team vote and is based on an individual athlete’s choice on whether to join. It is unclear if the union’s invitation would be open to just scholarship athletes, or walk-ons – or whether there are NCAA rules preventing the athletes to be classified as state employees. There is no minimum number of athletes needed to join before SEANC can represent them in negotiations.