The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has withdrawn its petition to represent adjunct faculty at the University of La Verne. In accepting the withdrawal, the National Labor Relations Board imposed a six-month moratorium against the SEIU, preventing it from filing another petition to represent La Verne adjunct faculty until January of 2015.
The union’s request to withdraw its petition comes on the heels of the National Labor Relations Board’s finding that all six unfair labor practice claims filed against the University were unfounded. Both the Regional Office and Board in the District of Columbia determined that the University of La Verne had acted in accordance with federal labor laws during the campaign.
Shortly after the ballots were cast by La Verne adjunct professors in February, the SEIU filed six unfair labor practice charges (ULPs) with the NLRB, asserting that the University of La Verne unlawfully interfered with the integrity of the vote. The ballots were impounded without being counted until a decision was made regarding the ULPs. The regional director of the NLRB dismissed all six charges in April, after which the SEIU appealed to the Board in D.C. On July 18, the national Board dismissed all ULPs.
The University of La Verne advocated for a swift count of the ballots in order to communicate the results to the adjunct faculty and all other University constituents, citing the University’s position that the voting unit has spoken; now it is time for their voices to be heard. Before the ballots could be counted, the SEIU submitted its request to withdraw its petition to represent La Verne adjunct faculty. Because of the Union’s withdrawal request, the ballots that were cast in February by La Verne’s adjunct faculty will not be counted.
Throughout the nearly year-long discussion regarding unionization efforts, the University of La Verne has maintained a philosophy on unionization that is consistent with the University’s values:
- We respect the rights and opinions of part-time faculty and adjuncts, including the right to choose whether or not to be represented by a union through a secret ballot election free from intimidation or coercion from anyone
- We believe it is up to adjuncts to choose, or not to choose, to be represented by a union. It is their decision – not the University’s and not a union’s – and we will respect their decision. Consistent with this principle, we will not contest an election, but will embrace it as an opportunity for dialogue
- We believe individuals considering union representation have the right to be fully informed with accurate information so that they can make a decision that is right for them
- While the decision about representation should always be up to the individual, we believe having a direct working relationship with the adjunct faculty and all of the University’s community is critical to continuing to improve our collective workplace and quality of employment
- We are not anti-union. We are pro-individual rights
- Guided by our own high standards and values, we at all times will abide by our state and federal labor laws.