[lbo-talk] A public square

andie nachgeborenen andie_nachgeborenen at yahoo.com
Wed May 23 08:59:55 PDT 2007

The "market rate" is not a natural phenomenon. Unions affect it. Unionized job still pay significantly more than nonunionized jobs, except in sectors like auto where unions are a factor,and nonunion employers like Toyota and Honda have to pay union rates in order to keep the UAW out. Also a union does a lot more than just give you wage leverage when there is any give. It can also get you benefits, improve the terms and conditions of employment, possibly (in this case) establish limits on grad student teaching and part time and temp hiring, better contracts for grad students and non-tenure track faculty.

Depending on how the representation worked, a union might also provide more protection for non-tenured tenure-track faculty --one reason among many the AAUP is so toothless is that on this issue it has a hopeless conflict of interest between defending the tenured faculty's right to make retention and promotion decision and the rights of non-tenured tenure-track faculty to fair decisionmaking. That might be hard to get around, although in this country the existing bad Supreme Court precedent (Yeshiva) prohibiting unionization by private university faculty because faculty are supervisory, managerial employees, so not covered under the NLRA (the controlling US federal labor and union law for private employers), might, if relaxed somewhat, be a basis for excluding tenured faculty from a union, which would solve the conflict problem but pose others.

--- Bill Bartlett <billbartlett at aapt.net.au> wrote:

> At 8:23 AM -0700 22/5/07, joanna wrote:
> > >Why doesn't the professoriate radicalize and
> organize
> >>against the low salaries, job insecurity, terrible
> >>working conditions?
> >>
> >Because there are at least 300 applicants for every
> job?
> That's a pretty good reason. Some people imagine
> that unions are a
> magic solution, but about the best a union can hope
> to do under
> capitalism is get its members the market rate for
> their labour. Give
> or take a bit.
> Bill Bartlett
> Bracknell Tas
> ___________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________ We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love (and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list. http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list