As expected, the National Labor Relations Board has impounded ballots in an election at Seattle University that may decide whether the school’s nontenured faculty can form a union.
The university has appealed the election to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., arguing it should be exempt from NLRB jurisdiction because it is a religiously operated institution.
In a statement, Seattle University contingent faculty member Louisa Edgerly said strong support and high voter turnout led her to believe faculty members voted to unionize.
The vote ended June 2. Nontenured faculty members — also called contingent, or adjunct, faculty — were voting whether to join Service Employees International Union Local 925.
In a statement, SEIU said it will file a special appeal to the NLRB for the ballots to be counted.
The election at Seattle University is part of a wave of organizing efforts by adjunct faculty at colleges and universities across the country. Adjuncts at Antioch University in Seattle are also voting on whether to unionize; ballots will be mailed out July 7 and are due back July 23, according to SEIU.