Faculty at Seattle University, Marist College, celebrate NLRB rulings

With much of the higher education world focused on last week’s historic ruling on graduate students, two major victories on opposite coasts have opened the possibility that new union groups at Seattle University and Marist College will join the Faculty Forward campaign.

A ruling from the National Labor Relations Board has cleared the way for a possible vote count in the faculty election at Seattle University, two years after the instructors and professors voted on whether to form a union.

“Our count is strong — we believe we will win the vote easily,” said Benedict Stork, a contingent faculty member who teaches film studies told the Seattle Times. Representatives at SEIU Local 925 have said that an election could occur within two weeks.

Across the country in Poughkeepsie, New York, the NLRB ruled that Marist College committed misconduct during the June 2014 union election of adjunct faculty to join the union of their choice. The ruling sustained a previous ruling of a regional hearing officer in November 2014 and ordered a new election.

“We feel validated by the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in affirming our right as adjuncts to a free and fair election without interference from the administration,” said Raphael Kosek, an adjunct instructor of English for 14 years at Marist College, celebrated the decision and said. If faculty choose a union, they will join SEIU Local 200.