Today’s News & Commentary — September 18, 2017
Last Thursday, a new union of nontenure-track faculty at Northwestern University filed a charge with the NLRB that accused the university of violating labor laws by refusing to bargain over a first contract. The Chicago Tribune reports that the NLRB certified the election in May 2017, after months of delay caused by contested ballots, but that Northwestern has appealed the results. “Should the final results of this election indicate a majority of the non-tenure eligible faculty voted for a union, we are committed to forming a productive relationship with this new union as well,” Provost Jonathan Holloway said in a message to faculty members Thursday.
National Labor Relations Board Chairman Philip Miscimarra (R) spoke to a group of lawyers on Thursday about his plans to increase the agency’s output for the next three months before his term ends on December 16. “Every time we have a board member’s end of term, it becomes very important to issue as many decisions as possible in cases that member has participated in,” Miscimarra said. “For cases, for example, where I’ve voted and a decision has not been issued, a case can be delayed for two or three or four years because it needs to be considered by a new panel.”
A piece in Saturday’s New York Times explores the disconnect between positive job statistics and people’s lived realities. The author points out that although the American Dream appears to be back on track, “[f]or many Americans . . . the recent progress is still dwarfed by profound changes that have been building for nearly a half-century: rising inequality and rusted-stuck incomes.”