The National Labor Relations Board, on a 2-1 vote, ruled Friday that an election on whether adjuncts want to be unionized should proceed at the University of Southern California. The Service Employees International Union is seeking to represent the adjuncts. The university argued that adjuncts are given substantial participation in shared governance, such that they should be considered managerial employees ineligible for unionization. But the regional director's opinion, upheld by the NLRB, said that while adjuncts indeed serve on many committees, they do not control decisions in the ways needed to be considered managers.
William A. Herbert, executive director of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College of City University of New York, said via email of the decision, "The NLRB decision is reflective of the extremely high evidentiary burden institutions face in attempting to have contingent faculty determined to be managerial."
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