National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) statistics show that the Board’s “quickie” election rule, implemented in 2015, has only minimally affected the union win rate in representation elections. The rule was intended to shorten the time between the filing of a representation petition and the vote. Elections over the past year were held, on average, 24 days after the filing of a petition, down from 39 days the year before the rule was implemented. Nonetheless, the increased pace led to less than a one percent rise in the union win rate, despite the fact that unions have historically won quick elections at a higher rate than more drawn out elections. Unions continue to win about 67 percent of representation elections.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 500 withdrew its petition to hold a representation election for George Washington University’s student resident advisors, citing fears that students would not participate due to exams. The union intends to refile at a later date. NLRB Regional Director Sean R. Marshall ruled in April that undergraduate resident advisors can unionize because they are university employees.
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 555, Oregon’s largest private sector union, completed a campaign to organize the remaining non-union employees at the state’s Safeway and Albertsons stores. The campaign added 4,400 members to Local 555’s membership. Throughout the campaign, the companies remained neutral and organizers were allowed access to employees at work.
NLRB Regional Director John Walsh decided that most Boston College graduate students are eligible to vote whether they want to be represented by the UAW, rejecting the Boston College’s claim that it is exempt from NLRB jurisdiction due to its status as a religious institution. The Regional Director reasoned that most graduate assistants in research and teaching positions do not fulfill any role in furthering the University’s religious mission. Graduate students in the university’s theology department, however, will be excluded from the union election because they were deemed to further the institution’s religious mission.
Tufts University Arts and Sciences graduate students voted 129-84 in favor of affiliating with the SEIU. The SEIU already represents the university’s full- and part-time non-tenure-track professors.
NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr granted a petition by Teamsters, Local 743, to hold a representation election for 226 student-employees of the University of Chicago libraries, dismissing the University’s objection that student-employees are not employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act), and that allowing students to unionize would change the predominantly educational nature of their relationship with the university.