New Issue of the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy, Part 2

The most recent issue of the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy is available at

The issue includes two op-eds and four articles. Here are excerpts from the second through fourth articles:

Hicks, Steve (2014) “Post-Recession CBAs: A Study of Wage Increases in the Agreements of Four State-wide Faculty Unions,” Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy: Vol. 6, Article 4. Available at:

“Everyone presumes the Great Recession of 2008-2009 (Recession) had a profound impact on almost every economic front in the United States, or even Western Europe. In the United States the Recession led first a bailout of the financial markets followed by o the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (known by its acronym ‘ARRA,’ or as ‘the Stimulus Act’), then to over $6 billion in cuts to higher education in state budgets in 2011 (Appendix 2: Grapevine Table 1). For those in collective bargaining situations, these cuts led to concerns about consequences at the table for contract negotiations.

“This study analyzes the financial aspects of the four largest faculty union collective bargaining agreements negotiated after the 2011 cuts. In what can be discerned as not necessarily happenstance, the collective bargaining agreements with the largest faculty unions—the California Faculty Association (CFA), the United University Professions (UUP, who represent SUNY faculty and staff), the Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (APSCUF), and the Minnesota Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO)—were open for negotiation within a year of each other in 2010 and 2011. At one point, all these bargaining agents (and the Professional Staff Congress and CUNY, who had not settled yet as of this writing) were at the table simultaneously.”

Sproul, Curtis R.; Bucklew, Neil; and Houghton, Jeffery D. (2014) “Academic Collective Bargaining: Patterns and Trends,” Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy: Vol. 6, Article 5. Available at:

The purpose of the current paper is to examine recent trends in academic collective bargaining and to compare these trends with the current unionization and collective bargaining situation in other major industries in the United States. While mainstream views of unions might induce thoughts of blue collar workers in mines, mills, and manufacturing plants, today’s union members are much more likely to wear white collars than blue. In particular, union representation in American universities has reached an all-time high, with faculty unions in place at nearly one third of all university campuses (Wickens, 2008). Indeed, the most recent data suggest that approximately 27% of all U.S. faculty, which includes some 430,000 faculty members and graduate students at more than 500 institutions and 1174 campuses, are represented by collective bargaining agreements (Berry & Savarese 2012). The highest levels of representation are for public 2-year institutions where more than 42% of the faculty covered by collective bargaining agreements (Berry & Savarese 2012). Furthermore, faculty unions have extended their reach to include part-time and adjunct faculty who now comprise more than half of higher education’s teaching professionals (Wickens, 2008). Graduate student employees (GSEs), such as teaching and research assistants, are one of the most controversial and fastest growing segments of faculty representations with more than 40,000 GSEs nationwide represented by collective bargaining agreements at more than 40 universities (Berry & Savarese 2012; DeCew, 2003; Junius & Gumport, 2002; Singh, Zinni, & Maclennan, 2006). Clearly, Aronowitz’s (1998) predictions that representation of faculty and GSEs would become an important part of “labor’s new frontier” (pp. 174-181) continue to materialize as evidenced by the rapid 14% increase of nearly 50,000 unionized faculty members since 2006 alone (Berry & Savarese 2012).”

Rosenberger, Amy L. (2014) “Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association,” Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy: Vol. 6, Article 6. Available at:

“Over the last 15 years, considerable attention has been paid to the question of who is an ‘employee’ of a college or university in the United States, due to a number of organizing drives among students who perform services for compensation at private universities. The major labor relations cases on this issue have involved efforts by graduate assistants to organize and collectively bargain with the private universities at which they are both obtaining a degree and performing teaching, research or other work. Although graduate assistants at a number of public universities across the country have been collectively bargaining with their university employers for decades, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”), which administers the collective bargaining laws governing private employers, including private universities, has continued to struggle with the notion of allowing collective bargaining by student-employees, twice overruling itself, and signaling that it may be poised to do so again.

“The most recent case to reach the Board presents the issue in a new context: It involves an effort by grant-in-aid scholarship football players at Northwestern University (‘Northwestern’) to form a union and to collectively bargain with Northwestern over the terms and conditions under which they provide services to the university as members of its varsity football team. While the duties performed by a football player are significantly different from, for example, a Ph.D. candidate teaching a course while working on her dissertation, the arguments from both union and employer are familiar, echoing those made in the earlier graduate assistant cases. It is therefore difficult to escape the conclusion that the Board’s decision will have an impact on future graduate assistant cases.”


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