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UNC System Student Athletes Can Join State Employee Union

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RALEIGH — Student athletes at North Carolina's public universities can join the same union as state employees.

The State Employees Association of North Carolina's decision affects all schools in the UNC System, including ACC Powerhouses UNC and NC State.

The decision gives athletes the choice to join the union without a team vote, but it's unclear if the invitation extends beyond scholarship athletes.

Two months ago, the National Labor Relations Board decided to allow Northwestern University football players to unionize. The players wanted the union to fight for better health benefits, concussion testing and compensation.

Letting student athletes unionize could have a significant impact on the NCAA, which doesn't allow monetary compensation of players.

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