NLRB denies union election


Rachel Looker, Editor-in-Chief

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has dismissed a petition made by Marywood faculty to form a union, according to a ruling released by the government agency on May 11.

Faculty at Marywood recently testified in Philadelphia to determine if they meet certain requirements to unionize.

According to the testimony, there were two main questions that needed to be answered at the hearing to see if faculty could unionize.

The first question was to determine if faculty perform a specific religious function at Marywood.

Administration representatives said faculty are obligated to fulfill the university’s mission statement and core values, which includes a “Catholic Identity.”

According to the decision, generalized statements that faculty need to fulfill an institution’s mission is not sufficient enough to meet the requirement of performing a religious function.

“The evidence clearly does not meet the standard for exemption; the record does not show that the faculty performs an explicitly religious role,” said Harold A. Maier, the NLRB acting regional director who wrote the decision.

This finding by the NLRB supported faculty’s position, but the board also ruled that faculty serve as managers in their role at Marywood.

While faculty members said they do not have a management function, the NLRB agreed with administration on the management issue and dismissed the petition for the union.

“Agreeing with the Employer, however, I conclude that the faculty qualify as managerial employees, and I shall therefore dismiss the petition,” said Maier.

According to the decision, faculty play a role in deciding the undergraduate and graduate students who meet admission standards. Faculty also assist in making personnel decisions regarding the need for adjunct faculty or recommending a specific adjunct professor for a position.

“In my view, the part played by the Employer’s [Marywood’s] faculty in determining who will be admitted to both undergraduate and graduate programs is significant enough to militate in favor of finding them to be managerial employees,” said Maier.

The decision said faculty does not need to have control over all administration’s operations to be considered performing a management role.

“The Board has, however, never required that total faculty control is a prerequisite to finding managerial status; control over some aspects of a school’s operations is sufficient,” said Maier.

Faculty may request to review this decision by filing a request with the NLRB. A separate ruling issued by the NLRB this week granted an extension for requesting a review to June 22.

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