Lawmakers propose codification of right to unionize for student-athletes

By Published On: July 15th, 2021Categories: Capitol Notes

In the wake of the NCAA implementing rules enabling collegiate athletes to cash in on their name, image and likeness, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages introduced legislation ensuring student-athletes in New York can form a union to advocate on their behalf.

For the last couple years, the Long Island Democrat has advocated for college athletes to receive some form of compensation – aside from scholarships – and has carried legislation that would enable them to share in the profits generated by their activities.

Solages told The Capitol Pressroom that her new bill would ensure athletes could negotiate with their college or university for changes in compensation, health care benefits and academic experience. If enacted, she said the framework would give students the flexibility to form a union from one team, students from one school or across an entire sport.

If the state did actively protect the right to collectively bargain, Solages anticipated it could help lure the best athletes to New York.