An election to unionize graduate assistants at the University of Pittsburgh was declared inconclusive Friday after a tally of nearly 1,400 ballots yielded a 37-vote margin favoring Pitt, but left 153 contested votes to be resolved.
The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board announced the result at 1:45 p.m., after counting that began at 10:30 a.m. in the agency’s Downtown Pittsburgh offices.
Representatives of the university and the United Steelworkers, including student organizers, watched as ballots printed on blue sheets of paper were removed from sealed boxes and counted, the expressions on individual faces mirroring swings of the vote.
Agency officials said 2,016 graduate workers were eligible to cast ballots. Of the 1,387 counted, 712 votes favored no union representation and 675 supported the union.
Of the 153 challenged ballots, three individuals were contested by Pitt as no longer employed, though the individuals were on the list of eligible voters. The other 150 whose votes were challenged by the labor board were not on the list, said Dennis Bachy, an administrative officer for the agency, which conducted the election over four days at Pitt beginning April 15. For the full story, click here…