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Northwestern non-tenured faculty vote not completed

Northwestern University has been informed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that the results have not been finalized in the election on whether Northwestern non-tenure-track faculty members would be represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). An initial count of the ballots July 19 was not conclusive, because of challenges to a number of the ballots made predominantly by the SEIU. Since then, the NLRB has resolved 19 challenges against the SEIU, and the SEIU also withdrew approximately three dozen challenges. Thus, an additional group of ballots was counted today. 

However, the ballots opened and counted today did not conclude the matter, because neither the votes for union representation nor in opposition to union representation have garnered a majority of votes among the eligible voters. Therefore, the remaining challenged ballots will be the subject of an NLRB hearing. The hearing will determine which of the challenged voters were eligible to vote in the election and whose ballots, therefore, should be opened and counted -- and which of the challenged voters were not eligible to vote and whose ballots, therefore, will not be counted in determining the final result.

The SEIU is seeking to become the representative for approximately 700 non-tenure-track faculty in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, the School of Communication, the School of Education and Social Policy and the Bienen School of Music. The proposed unit excludes all tenure-track faculty. 

“The University has been and remains committed to cultivating its relationship with its non-tenure-track faculty, keeping the lines of communication open and improving working conditions for all faculty members, including non-tenure-track faculty,” Provost Daniel Linzer said. “We are grateful for their deep commitment to Northwestern University and to the education of our students.”

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