Public universities are state government entities and as such are governed by state labor laws, while private universities like Yale are regulated by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and federal law.
If Yale chooses not to negotiate with the union, it effectively challenges the legality of the micro-unit strategy and triggers an NLRA charge and federal court review. This may not bode well for the nascent Yale union, as Trump is expected to appoint three conservative lawyers to fill NLRB vacancies, constituting a Republican majority likely to overturn previous rulings. This would leave Yale students without a union. Yale critics accuse the university of waiting out negotiations “until the new appointees are in place.”