Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Seattle U. Appeals NLRB Claim That It Is Not Religious Enough, Faculty Votes Impounded

Although the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continued its infringement on religious freedom last month and declared that Seattle University is not religious enough to be exempt from the labor board’s oversight, the University appealed the decision.  New reports say that adjunct faculty votes at the Jesuit University have been impounded pending the appeal.

The Seattle Times reported:

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 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 NLRB claims authority to investigate and determine whether or not an institution is sufficiently religious to be exempt from its jurisdiction.  However, the Supreme Court case NLRB v. The Catholic Bishop of Chicago, et al. ruled against the NLRB’s ability to infringe on a religious educational institution’s First Amendment rights. 

Late last year, the NLRB ordered Duquesne University 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.

Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly summarized the history of the NLRB’s encroachment on religious freedom in “The NLRB’s Assault on Religious Liberty.”

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