Union Election at Tufts University Decided by Minority of Eligible Voters
As you know, Northeastern is actively encouraging faculty members to educate themselves about SEIU, the organizing process and collective bargaining as they consider SEIU’s efforts to organize. You may have wondered why the University is encouraging you to learn more about this process. Our reasons are demonstrated by the recent union election at Tufts. You may have heard that adjunct faculty at Tufts voted in favor of union representation in an election decided on September 26.
From our perspective, while the results of the election are important, the participation rate or, more accurately, the non-participation rate, of faculty eligible to vote in the election also is significant. Of 286 faculty members who were eligible to vote in the election, 128 voted in favor of union representation and 57 voted against union representation. That means that less than a majority (45%) of the eligible voters decided the outcome of the election. Now SEIU has the legal right to bargain the future terms and conditions of employment for all eligible voters.
The disturbing participation rate at Tufts mirrors a similar lack of participation of part-time faculty members at both American University and Georgetown University, where 23% and 35% of eligible voters, respectively, determined the outcomes of the elections in favor of union representation.
SEIU apparently continues its organizing efforts at Northeastern. If a union election is ever held, we do not want the election determined by a minority of eligible voters. If you are part of the group of faculty that SEIU is attempting to solicit, whatever your opinion is, please make your voice heard.