“Union advocates aren’t interested in excellence. They would destroy our merit based system and make everyone equal.”
The CFA is interested in excellence. That’s why we talk about class size, the growth of insecure adjunct jobs, allocation of faculty lines and research money, faculty salaries and benefits, and health and safety. In our conversations around campus, we are routinely asking for input about what faculty can do to improve the quality of education and research at UIUC―the centerpiece of excellence.
How would a union preserve our system of merit-based salaries? Under collective bargaining agreements, faculty at other research universities have decided to create merit raise pools over and above basic increases, to be distributed as department heads decide.
On the other hand, everyone should be treated fairly and decently. We could negotiate to raise the extremely low base-line salaries of non-tenure track faculty.