Adjunct professors at Loyola Marymount University in California have announced that they have chosen to withdraw their petition for a union election from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Inside Higher Ed reported.
This move will delay the efforts of adjuncts to form a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at the Jesuit University by at least six months due to NLRB regulations.
Organizers also withdrew a claim of unfair labor practices with the NLRB that grew out of a claim last month that the university held informational meetings in which the tone was hostile to a free election.
A university spokesman reportedly defended the meetings saying the town hall type meetings were “voluntary” and not well attended.
These efforts to unionize adjuncts at LMU mirror efforts across the country.
Late last year, Duquesne University reaffirmed its opposition to a union of adjunct professors, citing concerns for the institution’s religious freedom after a regional director of the NLRB ordered Duquesne to hold union elections for its adjunct faculty. Manhattan College and Saint Xavier University in Chicago also appealed NLRB rulings which argued that they are insufficiently religious to qualify for exemption from the Board’s oversight. A group of adjunct faculty members at Seattle University also recently filed a petition with the NLRB with the intent of forming a union with Service Employees International Union Local 925.
Many Catholic universities have argued that the NLRB has no jurisdiction over religious institutions. Several federal court rulings and the Supreme Court case NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago have found the agency’s actions to be unconstitutional interference in religious concerns—which necessarily factor into employment decisions and benefits at Catholic schools and colleges—but the NLRB continues to ignore those rulings.
Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society,is the author of The NLRB’s Assault on Religious Liberty.
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