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Non-regular rank, non-tenure track faculty vote for union representation

The National Labor Relations Board announced Friday that a majority of adjunct faculty who voted in the recent union election voted for representation by the Service Employees International Union.

Of the 203 ballots cast in the election, 174 (85.7 percent) were cast in favor of unionization and 29 against union representation. After the NLRB certifies the results, the SEIU will represent approximately 300 non-regular rank, non-tenure track faculty in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Documentary Studies and the Graduate School.

Although Duke’s non-tenure track professors, part-time professors and lecturing fellows filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board, an agreement was reached to exclude regular rank, non-tenure track professors—professors of the practice, research professors and lecturers—from the voting process.

“While we are disappointed not to be able to continue working more directly with our colleagues, we are glad that together we made some advances this past year that will impact many of our adjunct faculty,” Provost Sally Kornbluth said in a Duke Today release. “We remain committed to their success as members of our faculty and contributors to Duke’s academic mission.”

University officials said in the release that they will begin to work with SEIU representatives on a collective bargaining agreement.

“While the process is underway, we expect most aspects of our working relationship with the members of the bargaining unit to remain status quo,” Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh said in the release.


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