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Update from Provost on Election

May 12, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you on the non-tenure track faculty unionization effort. As you know, a mail ballot election was held in July 2016. Approximately 72 percent of the eligible voters cast a ballot in the election, so I thank you for your participation in the process. As I reported in my messages last year, there were a number of ballots that were challenged and thus were not opened and counted. Of the ballots that were challenged, the vast majority of the challenges were made by SEIU.

Today (May 12) the NLRB opened and counted 34 of the challenged ballots. The ballots that were counted today were ones that the NLRB ruled should be counted. The outcome of today’s count was an additional 6 votes in favor of the union and 28 votes against the union. Thus, currently there are a total of 229 votes in favor of the union and 219 votes against the union. Another 25 ballots are the subject of an appeal pending before the NLRB in Washington, D.C. Because the number of votes either in favor or against the union is not enough to constitute a majority of all votes, including those on appeal, the NLRB in Washington, D.C. will now determine which of the remaining 25 ballots will be counted. There is not a defined schedule for that to occur, so we do not know when the results will be final.

I am grateful for our faculty’s engagement in this process and for their strong commitment to the Northwestern community. I will continue to update you as more information is available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Alex Rot, Director of Faculty Information in the Office of the Provost, at

Thank you all.

Daniel Linzer

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