Category Archives: Collective Bargaining – Public Sector

Academic Collective Bargaining: Patterns and Trends

Source: Curtis R. Sproul, Neil Bucklew, Jeffery D. Houghton, Academic Collective Bargaining: Patterns and Trends,” Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy: Vol. 6, Article 5, December 2014

From the abstract:
Educational services, particularly higher education, has slowly and methodically become one of the most heavily unionized segments, with much greater representation than traditional labor segments. Despite these changes, the increase in academic collective bargaining has not been well documented. Consequently, 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. We begin with a comparative analysis of unionization in the United States by industry. The summary data we present indicate that the educational services industry is the third largest industry category in the United States and is the most highly unionized industry in the nation. Next, we tighten our focus to examine recent patterns and trends in academic collective bargaining. The data suggest that colleges and universities are a major sector in the overall employment landscape of the United States with academic collective bargaining representing one of the most important growth segments within the U.S. labor movement. In short, higher education unionization is expanding at a faster rate than overall union growth with the expansion of graduate student employee unionization as an area of special interest.

Post-Recession CBAs: A Study of Wage Increases in the Agreements of Four State-wide Faculty Unions

Source: Steve Hicks, Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy: Vol. 6, Article 4, December 2014

From the abstract:
The article looks at the post-Recession (2011) agreements of four state-wide faculties: California State system, SUNY, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Focusing on wages, the study starts with the context of state appropriations after the Recession and after ARRA. It finds that the agreements took longer, yet without job action, and each had a year with no salary increase, and some agreements include both no salary increase AND no seniority-based increase.

National Center Newsletters 1973-2000

Source: National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, 2014

Between 1973 and 2000, the National Center published a bimonthly newsletter with contributions from directors and newsletter editors Maurice Benewitz, Thomas Mannix, Theodore H. Lang, Aaron Levenstein, Joel M. Douglas, Frank R. Annunziato and Beth H. Johnson. In addition, issues of the newsletter included contributions by other scholars including Clark Kerr, Fred Lane, Clara Lovett, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Myron Lieberman, Irwin Polishook, Matthew Finkin, Richard W. Hurd and Richard Chait.

Over its 27 year publication history, the newsletter contained articles, analysis and data on subjects that continue to be topical in higher education and the professions including: the impact of the Supreme Court’s Yeshiva University decision, the organizing and representation of adjunct faculty and graduate students, academic freedom and tenure, shared governance, discrimination and faculty strikes. The final issue of the newsletter appeared in 2000 with excerpts of a speech given by then AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney at the National Center’s 28th annual conference as the first annual Albert Shanker Lecture.

Our Best Line of Defense: Taking on Privatization at the Bargaining Table

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees, ISBN 9780980929676, September 2014

This guide gives an overview of the privatization, contracting out and contracting in issues CUPE members face – along with sample collective agreement language for local bargaining committees, bargaining councils and staff representatives.

There are four major areas to look at when drafting and reviewing collective agreement language:
1. Getting ahead of privatization: notice, disclosure and consultation
2. Preventing privatization: language on contracting out
3. Reversing privatization: language on contracting in
4. Protecting benefits from privatization or delisting
Each section of this guide includes a brief overview and a list of issues for negotiations, as well as sample CUPE collective agreement language from a variety of sectors and regions. Articles dealing with contracting out are strongest when they are clauses within the body of the collective agreement, as they roll over into future agreements unless they are changed during bargaining.

The Courts vs. Teacher Unionism

Source: Justin Law, LaborOnline, May 23, 2014

Teachers unions have faced some of the most challenging legal strictures in U.S. history. Before public collective bargaining employment laws, teachers effectively were told they had no right to organize by a judicial system that used a variety of constructions of the law to invalidate the citizen’s right to free speech and assembly in the workplace. One illustration of this legal labor history–one relevant to teachers power—is that of the Chicago Teachers’ Federation (CTF) legal battle to overturn the infamous “Loeb rule,” which presented nearly insurmountable obstacles to the organization of teachers by the labor movement. Under the administration of Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson, and under the leadership of School Board member and later President, Jacob M. Loeb, the Chicago Board of Education passed a rule in September of 1915 declaring that any teacher who was a member of a trade union or other unauthorized society would not be hired by the Board to work in the schools of Chicago….

California Grad Employee Contract Shows Reform Works

Source: Katy Fox-Hodess, Labor Notes, June 24, 2014

This week 13,000 teaching assistants, readers, and tutors at the University of California ratified a new four-year contract.

We made big gains on both bread-and-butter and social justice issues, with a 17 percent wage increase over four years, new language on class size, longer paid parental leaves, a larger child care subsidy with expanded coverage, a new committee to equalize opportunities for undocumented students, and a mandate to create lactation stations and all-gender bathrooms. (See box.)

It’s a good moment to look back on how we got here. This is the first contract since our reform caucus, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, took the helm of our union, UAW Local 2865, in the spring of 2011….

As Good As It Gets? Hard Lessons from NYC Contracts

Source: Mark Brenner, Labor Notes, June 25, 2014

Train and bus operators with Transit Workers Local 100 did better than expected, but no union was able to escape the political box created by Democrats who refuse to tax the rich. New York City teachers and transit workers just ratified contracts that will define what’s possible for the 250,000 city workers still in negotiations. The deals show how little juice is left for public sector unions trying to deliver using traditional tools at the bargaining table or in the political arena. If these are the limits in a union stronghold like New York—where one in four workers is a union member and 70 percent of the public sector is organized—the news isn’t good for conventional strategies elsewhere. What can be done better? To avoid a collision course with taxpayers, public sector unions need to upend the bipartisan consensus and put raising taxes back on the table. To achieve that, they’ll have to make an aggressive case to voters that strong public services, and the workers who provide them, are worth it—and that corporations and the super-rich should pay the tab. They’ll also have to challenge politicians, especially Democrats, who’ve made their peace with austerity….

Public Sector Unions Under Siege – Solidarity in the Fight Back

Source: Richard W. Hurd, Tamara L. Lee, Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 39 no. 1, March 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The 2011-2013 assault on public sector collective bargaining rights is unprecedented in its breadth and depth. Legislative proposals that would roll back bargaining, limit unions’ ability to negotiate security arrangements, stop payroll deduction of union dues, and constrain labor’s political activity have been introduced in a majority of states. This coordinated attack from the Republican right has spurred an aggressive, unified response from a broad cross section of unions. Through labor unity tables at the national and state levels, unions are demonstrating a rare level of solidarity in the fight back. This ongoing experiment in movement building is encouraging, but challenges remain.

Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit

Source: Editors and Writers: Jennifer Dorning, Tara Dunderdale, Shannon L. Farrell, Aliqae Geraci, Rachel Rubin, Jessica Storrs, American Library Association – Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), Fifth Edition: April 2014

Successful salary improvement efforts begin and end with library workers. This toolkit is designed to provide library workers with the resources and strategies they need to improve their salaries. Library workers are not alone in their fight for fair compensation. …. The toolkit has four parts: Building Your Case for Better Salaries; Pay Equity; Unions; and Speaking Out. This toolkit will be helpful whether you are a librarian, administrator, or support staff.

Part 1 focuses on building the individual library workers’ case for better salaries and providing tools for salary negotiation. To build the case, the toolkit outlines resources to help you determine your fair market value and effectively demonstrate your value and the value of your library. Part 1 also includes information on living wage campaigns and the effect of faculty status on salary. Part 1 concludes with salary negotiation advice for individuals as well as advice aimed at administrators looking to improve staff salaries.

Part 2 outlines the process for initiating a pay equity campaign in your library. This section provides tools for identifying pay inequities in your library and outlines the options for recourse. While legal recourse is available in pay equity cases, this section also outlines the steps libraries can take to revise job descriptions, position classifications, and job evaluations to achieve pay equity.

Part 3 provides resources for library workers who want to seek union representation in their library. This section also outlines the benefits of joining a union as well as frequently asked questions about unions.

Part 4 explains the five steps necessary to presenting an effective case for increasing salaries. Part 4 also looks at how to handle challenges and setbacks when seeking fair pay, including budget cuts, employee turnover, and labor market saturation and recruitment.

Facing New York’s New Mayor, Public Unions Should Fuse Their Bargaining Power

Source: Rosie Frascella, Labor Notes, April 24, 2014

….On paper, all the city’s union leaders are saying the same thing: their members want and deserve retroactive pay for the several years our wages have been frozen because of expired contracts. Though the city wants big health care concessions in exchange for retro pay, so far no union leaders have put givebacks on the table.

However, the union who settles its contract first will set the pattern for the rest—and New York’s unions have been on the defensive for decades, not only from employers but also from each other. Rank-and-file workers have been carrying the burden through frozen pay and increased costs for pensions and health, as the cost of living steadily rises.

A new coalition of rank-and-file union members, Public Workers United, has formed to call for a unified plan to win retroactive raises for all. The coalition includes members from Professional Staff Congress (PSC), Communications Workers, United Federation of Teachers (UFT), Organization of Staff Analysts, Teamsters 237, AFSCME District Council 37 (including Locals 371, 768, 1549, and others), Transport Workers (TWU), New York State Nurses (NYSNA), and a few other unions and locals.

The coalition organized a March 6 forum where 75 rank-and-file employees gathered to discuss how to organize—not only for fair retroactive raises, but also for better public services for New Yorkers….