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Bates staff and adjunct faculty will vote next month on forming a union

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Hedge Hall at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Staff members and adjunct faculty at Bates College will vote next month on whether to form a union on the Lewiston campus.

The National Labor Relations Board announced that ballots for the election will be sent out on Jan. 6, and must be returned by Jan. 28.

If approved, the new unit would include nearly all staff members and non-tenure track faculty, totaling about 630 workers. Organizers have pointed to several issues they're hoping to take up, including better benefits, the lack of pay transparency, and need for improving the workplace environment for people of color.

In a message on Thursday, the college strongly encouraged all eligible employees to vote.

Ballots will be tallied on Jan. 31.