ERIC Number: ED206234
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Collective Bargaining in Higher Education: The Real Issues.
Ruggles, David P.
Professional bargaining in higher education is examined in terms of the labor contract as a legal document, the unsuitability of contracts to deal with qualitative questions, and the strength of the union. It is argued that a labor contract forces two parties into a buyer and seller arrangement; product accountability or quality of education must be stipulated, and this is difficult to build into a labor contract. The two largest concerns of the contract are pay and job security, which can be addressed with committees for peer review, criteria and due process procedures, percentages entitled to promotion, and seniority ranks. Bargaining does not simplify the procedure and may possibly over proceduralize the contract requirements and detract attention to the process rather than the substance. Labor contracting is a legal construction of the minimum acceptable performance and usually in terms of time. Anything beyond that basic expectation is a bonus. In the academic community, scholarship is not based on time-defined criteria: time is a labor measure, not a professional quality determinant. It is suggested that attempts to define, proceduralize, and quantify the activities of higher education faculty have no basis for validity. A union is seen as only as strong as its weakest link, with the individual becoming part of the whole. Contracts cannot sort out, promote, and provide incentive to super star faculty. Some contracts have "good teaching" awards, but reward is a fringe benefit. It is concluded that virtually no data exist that compare faculties from collective units versus nonorganized units; the real implications of collective bargaining for higher education need to be studied. (CC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A