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Update from Provost on Election

July 27, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you are aware, in July 2016, non-tenure eligible faculty in six schools (Bienen, Communication, Education and Social Policy, McCormick, Medill, and Weinberg) voted on whether to form a union to collectively bargain with the University.

The current vote tally is close, and 25 ballots – a potentially decisive number – remain uncounted because they were challenged by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). These uncounted ballots represent 5% of the total vote, and the University believes the vote of every faculty member who participated in the election should be counted to ensure the outcome reflects the will of the majority who voted.

Earlier today the University notified the SEIU that we would not grant its request to begin bargaining because the election outcome is not final. We informed the SEIU that we hoped it would drop its challenge to the 25 remaining votes so the election could be finalized as soon as possible. It is premature to begin negotiations when the entire election remains under review by the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. We hope this process will be concluded as quickly as possible.

We have strong, productive working relationships with unions that represent a number of Northwestern employees. Should the final results of this election indicate a majority of the non-tenure eligible faculty voted for a union, we look forward to a productive relationship with this new union as well.

If you would like more information on this process, please feel free to visit which will continue to be updated as events warrant.


Daniel Linzer 

Jonathan Holloway