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Government shutdown delays results of Bentley University adjuncts' vote to unionize

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 4, 2013 01:08 PM

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Polls closed Thursday for part-time professors at Bentley University who are voting whether to unionize. But because of the federal government shutdown, there’s no one around to count the ballots today.

The National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency, oversees votes to unionize and is in charge of counting ballots and certifying results. Its offices and normal business have been halted indefinitely amid the shutdown.

“All elections and pre and post election hearings scheduled to be conducted any day from October 1, through October 11, 2013 have been postponed indefinitely,” a notice on the board’s website said.

Part-time faculty at Bentley were scheduled to hear the results today, Friday, Oct. 4, of their vote over whether to join Adjunct Action, a movement backed by the Service Employees International Union.

The SEIU confirmed Friday that the NLRB’s plans to count the ballots are on hold indefinitely.

A week ago, part-time professors at Tufts University voted to unionize, becoming the first group to do so in a campaign to organize adjuncts at more than 20 Boston-area colleges.

The local effort is part of a nationwide push by adjunct professors to form unions as they seek better job security, working conditions, wages, and benefits.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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