VETOED	DATE: 09/30/2012

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 259 without my signature.

This bill would grant collective bargaining rights to graduate
student researchers at the state's public universities.  The Higher
Education Employee-Employer Relations Act holds that:

"?the Board may find student employees whose employment is contingent
on their status as students are employees only if the services they
provide are unrelated to their educational objectives, or, that those
educational objectives are subordinate to the services that they
perform ?"

The Public Employment Relations Board has held, pursuant to this
provision of law, that teaching assistants are employees, but that
research assistants are not. This legislation would overturn that

Collaboration between faculty and research assistants is an integral
part of their training and education. It is rare that this
relationship is subject to collective bargaining at other
universities and I am reluctant to upset the balance established
under current law.

While I received many thoughtful communications on both sides of this
matter, I did not find sufficient and persuasive evidence warranting
a change to the current framework within which graduate student
researchers and faculty undertake their joint intellectual inquiries.
  Some researchers may be consigned to rather menial tasks, while
others join collaboratively in exciting research endeavors.  It is
not clear how collective bargaining will discourage the former or
influence the later.

Finally, given the current stresses facing the state and its
universities, now is not the time to mandate these new requirements.


Edmund G. Brown Jr.