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The Unionized Campus

The Unionized Campus

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Understanding and working productively with academic labor

The last several years have seen union membership skyrocket among newly eligible groups on campuses -- adjuncts, graduate students, and undergraduates. The number of graduate-student unions, for example, has increased more than fourfold since 2019. As the conditions that led to union growth persist, experts in both college administration and labor say college leaders will serve their institutions best by figuring out how to coexist with academic labor unions.

This report lays out what's at stake. It describes the most effective strategies for colleges and universities facing their first unionization effort, but also for those campuses where faculty unions predate the internet. It dissects the complex morass of labor laws, including recent changes that are partially responsible for the uptick in academic unions. It explains the consequences when administrators and union leaders fails to seek common ground. And it offers advice from labor historians, union representatives, and campus leaders on how administrations can build relationships with unions that can withstand tense negotiations.

Purchase this report to learn:

  • What conditions led to the historic growth in academic unions.
  • The tangle of laws, regulations, and court rulings that govern collective bargaining.
  • Who organizes and why.
  • How academic unions form.
  • Next steps college leaders should take once a union is formed.
  • How to work effectively with unions in the long run.

    Date: October 2023
    Pages: 52
    Digital file size: 5.6 MB

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