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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Duquesne adjuncts vote for union, still won't get one any time soon

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

The United Steelworkers announced this afternoon that pro-union adjunct instructors at Duquesne University, have won a referendum on forming one. Out of 88 adjuncts in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, 59 cast a ballot -- and all but 9 of those were in favor.

But Duquesne will continue to fight against the union anyway, because of Jesus.

More than half of the adjuncts had previously signed union cards. But the school has recently taken to arguing that labor laws didn't apply to it because of centuries-old, deeply cherished beliefs that it had forgotten about until just a couple months ago. The school claims that labor law intrudes on its religious freedoms, including the freedom to assert control over its faculty without union interference. Today's vote does nothing to resolve the religious-freedom question, though the National Labor Relations Board will now be obliged to respond to the school's claim.

The Steelworkers celebrated the win, but expressed frustration with the school. "We're disappointed that [Duquesne administrators have] already announced their intentions to shirk their legal and moral obligations," said Steelworkers attorney Dan Kovalik in a statement.

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