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Update on non-tenure eligible faculty unionization election

- Following is a message from Jonathan Holloway, provost and professor, to Northwestern faculty

As we updated you several months ago, the National Labor Relations Board continues to review the July 2016 election by non-tenure eligible faculty in six schools (Bienen, Communication, Education and Social Policy, McCormick, Medill, and Weinberg) on whether to form a union to collectively bargain with the University.

There are twenty-five ballots — a decisive number — that remain uncounted because they were challenged by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). These uncounted ballots represent 5% of the total vote, and the University believes the vote of every faculty member who participated in the election should be counted to ensure the outcome reflects the will of the majority who voted. 

Today the SEIU has filed unfair labor practice charges against the University because we will not begin collective bargaining negotiations. We are disappointed by the union’s stance, since the election’s outcome has not been finally determined, and it is SEIU’s challenges that are preventing that resolution.  Last week we wrote to the SEIU to ask them once again to drop these challenges so the election could be finalized as soon as possible and both the University and NTE faculty can move forward with certainty. 

We have strong working relationships with unions that represent a number of Northwestern employees, and should the final results of this election indicate a majority of the non-tenure eligible faculty voted for a union, we are committed to forming a productive relationship with this new union as well. We are ready to move forward, no matter the outcome, and hope this matter can be promptly concluded.

We have repeatedly asked the SEIU to withdraw its objections to counting the ballots of Northwestern faculty members so this election can draw to a conclusion. We are ready to move forward in a way that reflects the will of the majority. 

Jonathan Holloway
Provost and Professor

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