The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that ballots cast by adjuncts at Duquesne University who are seeking to form a union should be counted, despite a pending appeal over whether the board has jurisdiction over labor matters at the Roman Catholic institution. Duquesne filed the appeal with the national board in Washington after the NLRB’s regional director in Pittsburgh denied the university’s request for a religious exemption from the board’s oversight. That denial is one of several recent actions by the NLRB that came under criticism in a hearing held by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives last week.
The full board’s 2-to-1 ruling, issued on Friday, says that if the union failed to win a majority of the votes, it may not be necessary to decide the jurisdictional question. If the union did win a majority, it says, Duquesne may renew its appeal. The ruling directs the regional director in Pittsburgh to open and count the ballots, and to let each side know the results.