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Northwestern University’s non-tenure-track faculty members voted against forming a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, the university announced Tuesday. The outcome of the 2016 election came down to a few dozen disputed votes, which Northwestern wanted counted and SEIU did not, as some represented instructors with administrative titles. A local office of the National Labor Relations Board agreed with the union. But the university appealed, and the Trump-appointed board in Washington agreed with Northwestern. The final tally was 242 against unionization and 231 in favor. Jonathan Holloway, provost, said in a message to faculty members that the university “is grateful to the NLRB for ensuring that all the votes were counted and that every voice was heard. We appreciate that our faculty participated in the process and acknowledge how close the election was in the end.”

The union organizing committee said in a statement that members were “disappointed that Northwestern administrators chose to hide behind tricky legal tactics and the highly-politicized Trump labor board, rather than work with us to make campus a better place to learn and work. We have been inspired by the bravery and persistence of our colleagues in the face of the harsh environment administrators created. We will continue to stand up for what we know is right.” The collective bargaining unit would have represented about 700 non-tenure-track professors across six Northwestern schools.