Myths About Faculty Unions, #1

In this series, the Campus Faculty Association takes apart some of the most common myths about unions and collective bargaining at universities. Many of these old chestnuts have been around for a century about unions in general. We’re hearing them now on our campus as tenure track and non-tenure track faculty are discussing what collective bargaining can do to improve working, teaching and learning conditions at UIUC. So, in the spirit of debunking here is our

Myth #1:

“Unionization is unprofessional.”

Many professionals in addition to college professors are unionized and have improved their lives and working conditions with collective bargaining contracts. Doctors, lawyers, screenwriters, dentists, nurses, actors, musicians, engineers, librarians, teachers, journalists, and many more professionals belong to unions. We envision a model that will enhance professional status by maximizing faculty autonomy, while protecting salary and benefit standards. Professors at most private universities in the US have been prevented from forming unions by a court decision, but this may change as the legal precedents are being reopened and challenged.

For more information on unions for professional and technical workers go here.

For more on unions of engineers go here and here.

For unions of doctors go here.

For writers go here.

For more perspective on professional unions, including health care workers, go to this article by David Cohen.

Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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