The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in an attempt to secure unionization for part-time faculty employees at American University (AU) in Washington, DC, including eligible faculty of its law school and graduate schools. On December 12, 2011, Provost Scott A. Bass of American University issued a memorandum informing the University faculty community and the public of the possible impending NLRB election.
The NLRB conducts elections according to federal regulations. After review of SEIU’s petition for a union election, the NLRB concluded that the petition was in compliance with regulations and that an election could take place. The stipulated election agreement between American University and SEIU Local 500 can be found here.
SEIU Local 500 seeks to represent part-time adjunct faculty at American University for the purposes of engaging in collective bargaining with American University on all aspects of employment. Pursuant to the NLRA, a simple majority of the employees who vote determines whether or not all employees affected are represented by a union or not., and each eligible employee has a right to vote. To be eligible to vote, an AU adjunct faculty must have a three-year appointment as of December 2, 2011, or have taught at least a one-credit bearing class or lesson during the Fall 2011 semester or have taught a one-credit bearing class or lesson in at least two semesters since January 1, 2010. Individuals ineligible to vote include lab assistants, graduate assistants, teaching assistants, research assistants, clinical fellows, teaching fellows, administrators with teaching responsibilities, degree-seeking AU students with adjunct appointments, and full-time staff who are not compensated for adjunct teaching. Additional information on eligibility can be found here.
The election is to be held by mail ballot because of the nature of an adjunct position, between January 19 and February 16.