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Seattle University refuses to bargain with faculty union

The following is from SEIU Local 925:

SU-adjuncts-15Feb25_chantSEATTLE (Oct. 3, 2016) — Seattle University announced on Friday its refusal to bargain with the adjunct and contingent faculty union certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on September 12. The University also announced its plan to seek court review of the NLRB’s jurisdiction over the Jesuit school, which could occur once the NLRB has processed any unfair labor practice charges filed by SEIU 925 over the refusal to bargain.

A FAQ posted to the University’s website states that their opposition is not about unionization and that Seattle University “would absolutely bargain with the non-tenure-track and part-time faculty under an alternative, cooperative framework.” However, faculty requested exactly that on multiple occasions, including in a letter sent to Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg in February 2014. The University never responded to these requests.

“We see the administration is doubling down on their specious claim of religious exception, by trying to pass off economic issues as religious issues,” said Ben Stork, adjunct professor of Film Studies at Seattle University. “In reality this is about not wanting to pay for the basic labor that the university runs on.”

SEIU 925 President Karen Hart added, “It is atrocious that a supposedly progressive Jesuit institution has decided to violate workers’ rights and the law. These endless delay tactics are just excuses to avoid negotiating a fair contract with SU adjunct faculty. Seattle University spent the past two years appealing their employees’ right to form a union, and they’ve lost every step of the way. It’s time to move on, begin bargaining in good faith, and live up to the social justice values they claim to uphold.”


Washington Faculty Forward is a project of SEIU 925, a member of the nation’s largest and fastest growing union, SEIU (Service Employees International Union). SEIU is home to over 18,000 unionized college and university faculty who have won improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to retirement benefits.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

Two years later, Seattle Univ. adjuncts vote: Union YES! (Sept. 9, 2016)

NLRB orders Seattle University: Count the adjuncts’ ballots! (March 4, 2015)

Seattle U’s union avoidance contrary to Catholic teachings (May 2, 2014)


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