The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday ordered its regional officials to reconsider labor disputes involving proposed adjunct-faculty unions at three Roman Catholic colleges in light of its December decision clearing the way for such a union at Pacific Lutheran University.
All of Tuesday’s NLRB orders, involving Manhattan College, in Riverdale, N.Y., Saint Xavier University, in Chicago, and Seattle University, are in cases appealed to the national board after its regional officials rejected the colleges’ arguments that they were too religious to be under the board’s oversight. The orders direct regional officials to reopen the record in the cases, if necessary, in light of a new standard for evaluating religious objections to board oversight set forth in the Pacific Lutheran decision.
In its decision clearing the way for adjuncts at Pacific Lutheran to unionize, the board abandoned its old focus on whether the faculty members involved in the dispute were actually involved in religious indoctrination, and instead articulated a standard focused simply on whether the college explicitly held out its faculty members as doing religious work. In that decision, the board said it planned to apply the new standard to all other pending cases of the same nature, except those in which the ballots in union elections had already been counted.
The orders (Seattle University, Case No. 19-RC-122863; Saint Xavier University, Case No. 13-RC-022025; Manhattan College, Case No. 02-RC-023543) are available for download on the board’s website.