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NLRB, Faith-based Universities and the First Amendment

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., President of Seattle University. Read a transcript of this video.

Dear Members of the Seattle University Community,

I hope you have a few minutes to watch this video. In it, you will hear directly from me why the Board of Trustees and I have decided to seek court review of what we believe to be the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) unconstitutional assertion of jurisdiction over our faith-based educational mission. We are concerned about the long-term consequences ceding jurisdiction to the NLRB could have on our Jesuit education and Catholic identity.

As I mention in the video, this has been a challenging issue for our campus community. The reason I am sharing this decision now is because we needed to respond today to SEIU Local 925 and to let them know that we will seek court review and not begin bargaining with the union at this time.

A transcript of the video can be found here along with additional information relating to the decision.

It is important to also share with you that the university remains committed to building upon the significant investments we have made in recent years to make sure our non-tenure track and part-time faculty are compensated justly and equitably, are full partners in our shared governance structures and have a good work environment. We recognize there is more to do and I assure you we will continue to explore ways to provide additional support and resources.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss this decision with you further in the coming weeks. We all hold our mission and values as critical to our common endeavor. May they serve to guide us not only as we move forward but also how we move forward in openness, understanding and respect.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.