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Goucher College will become the fourth college in Maryland to have its adjunct professors represented by a union after the National Labor Relations Board counted contested ballots Thursday from an election two years ago.

The adjunct faculty voted for the union in late 2014, but the attempt deadlocked after officials from Goucher and SEIU Local 500, which was attempting to represent the adjunct faculty members, each contested some ballots. Fifteen ballots weren't counted, leaving the rest of the votes in a 33-33 tie.

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Last week, the National Labor Relations Board voted that 10 of the contested votes would be counted, and Thursday, it issued a tally showing 40 adjunct professors voted in favor of the union and 36 voted against. The vote will be formally certified after a week passes.

"The next step is going to be reaching out to people to start talking about what they want to see in a first contract," said Chris Honey, a spokesman for SEIU Local 500. He said it could take a year for adjunct professors and administrators to hammer out a first contract.

Adjunct professors at the Maryland Institute College of Art unionized in 2014, at McDaniel College in June and at Montgomery College in 2008. They are all represented by SEIU Local 500, which also represents adjunct professors at many Washington colleges. Adjunct professors at those colleges and around the country have complained about a lack of job security and low wages.

"We are committed to dealing fairly and respectfully with everyone employed at Goucher and we believe that is both the right course of action and in the best interests of the College," Leslie Lewis, Goucher's provost, said in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with SEIU and faculty members in the bargaining unit to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement."

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