The National Labor Relations Board said Friday it will withdraw a proposed rule to deny teaching and research assistants at private universities the legal protection to form unions, upholding a 2016 decision that cleared the way for collective bargaining at elite schools.

In a statement Friday, the board said it is shelving the rule, which was proposed in 2019, to “focus its limited resources on competing agency priorities, including the adjudication of unfair labor practice and representation cases currently in progress.”

Although President Biden named Lauren McFerran, a Democrat, to serve as board chair in January, Republicans still hold a 3-to-1 majority on the panel. Those Trump appointees were instrumental in the 2019 rule that asserts graduate workers are students, not employees of their universities, even if they assist in teaching courses and research that benefits schools.