NU Library Workers Union members vote on unionization, AAUP expresses support for the union


Joshua Hoffman/Daily Senior Staffer

Deering Library. Northwestern University Library Workers Union members are currently voting on whether they will officially unionize.

Isabel Funk, Assistant Campus Editor

NU Library Workers Union members are currently voting on whether they will officially unionize. The NU chapter of the American Association of University Professors also published a letter supporting the workers’ unionization.  

The National Labor Relations Board sent ballots to eligible workers in early November and will hold a hearing in early December to count the votes and announce the results.

Jill Waycie, an archival processing specialist and member of the organizing committee, said the union expects to win the election.

“There’s a general sense of excitement at the library, and we’re looking forward to winning and getting started,” Waycie said.

If a majority of workers vote in support of the union, workers will officially be represented by SEIU Local 73, which represents public service workers in Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

The union seeks to represent over 130 workers. It announced its formation Oct. 12 and marched to Provost Kathleen Hagerty’s office that day to deliver their petition.

In the NU chapter of the American Association of University Professors’s letter, the NU-AAUP Executive Committee affirmed its belief in the right to collective bargaining.

“​​We ask that the administration make clear to administrative personnel that a library worker’s decision to invoke their right to organize can play no role in making personnel decisions about that worker,” the letter said, “and that the University will tolerate neither intimidation nor retaliation against library workers who invoke their right to organize.”

Waycie said the workers appreciate support from groups like NU-AAUP, as well as from student organizations such as Northwestern University Graduate Workers and Students Organizing for Labor Rights.

If the union is officially approved, it can move forward with negotiations with the University, SEIU Local 73 communications specialist Adrian Rojas told The Daily in October.

In an October interview with The Daily, University President Morton Schapiro said the University “works well with unions.”

“If the library workers think that their interests can be better served by unionizing, they should unionize,” Schapiro said.

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Twitter: @isabeldfunk

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