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The National Labor Relations Board has punted its much-anticipated decision on whether Northwestern football players may form a union. On Monday the Board effectively dismissed a prior regional ruling, which said scholarship football players at private universities are employees and, therefore, should be allowed to unionize.

In a striking move, part-time faculty at Northeastern University voted to unionize Thursday, making it the third Boston-area college in the past seven months to do so.

Thursday's vote is part of a popular national movement to give part-time professors collective bargaining rights at a time when colleges and universities are increasingly depending on their work. More than half of Northeastern's faculty is part-time, though the university notes that adjuncts deliver about 27 percent of all instruction.

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