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Adjunct Faculty Vote 'No' on Union Representation

Adjunct faculty members who teach undergraduate classes at St. Thomas have voted against representation by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today counted ballots submitted by adjunct faculty, who voted “no” by a 136-84 margin. About 300 adjunct faculty were eligible to vote, and the majority of votes cast determined the outcome.

SEIU challenged the eligibility of 24 voters’ ballots during the counting process, and those ballots were not opened. Because they are insufficient to change the result, those ballots will remain sealed and will not be counted.

The union has through July 28 to file formal objections about the campaign or election, and if that occurs the NLRB will gather evidence and likely hold a hearing to determine the merit of the objections.

Under the law, the election results must be certified by the NLRB before St. Thomas can resume its work to address adjunct faculty concerns. If no objections are filed, the NLRB will certify the election results by July 29. If objections are filed, the certification will be delayed indefinitely while the NLRB works through its standard processes to address the objections.

St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan said she is pleased with the decision and is prepared to communicate and initiate an action plan addressing the top-level adjunct faculty priorities identified over the past year. Sullivan said she would like to share details of the plan now but must respect the seven-day period in which the NLRB holds open the certification pending the filing of objections.

“I want to thank each of the adjunct faculty, who held varying opinions about union representation, for participating in the constructive dialogue that has occurred since the petition was filed two months ago,” Sullivan wrote in an email to them. “I am grateful that the administration had the opportunity to hear firsthand from so many of you about the election as well as the pleasure you derive from teaching at St. Thomas.

“I also appreciate the trust so many of you have placed in me and our new administration. We look forward to working together with you to find solutions to meet your needs and provide the best education for our students as we create One University where all members feel included, respected and valued for their contributions.”