Labor-Board Officer Rejects Marist College Vote Against Adjunct Union

An official at the National Labor Relations Board has called for the agency to toss out the results of an unsuccessful vote to unionize adjunct instructors at Marist College after concluding that the election had been tainted by the college’s interference and by ballots wrongly cast by administrative employees.

Thomas A. Miller, a regional NLRB hearing officer, said in a report released on Monday that illegal actions by the private college, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., justified disallowing the narrow vote against unionization that had resulted. He said the college’s administration had interfered in the process just before ballots were cast last June by offering adjuncts pay raises, proposing the establishment of a faculty committee on adjunct issues in lieu of a union, and enforcing a faculty-email policy in an inconsistent manner to put the union organizers at a disadvantage.

Mr. Miller called for a new union election to be held if a recount of 39 ballots that had survived challenge does not cause the results of the voting in June to tip in favor of the formation of a collective-bargaining unit affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. He said the board should exclude from consideration 47 other ballots that were challenged and had remain uncounted because the people who cast those ballots were administrative employees with some teaching duties rather than members of the part-time faculty population that the union hopes to represent.

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