Contingent Faculty Unionization: The Impact of Collective Bargaining on Course Pay, Benefits, and Contract Lengths for Part‐time Faculty at Four‐year Institutions in the U.S.
LeFlore, Mary Alice
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Contingent part‐time faculty experience far greater insecurity in their employment than their full‐time and tenured colleagues, and may experience improvements to their working situation as a result of collective bargaining by academic unions. Are these collective bargaining efforts more effective when unions operate on behalf of a broader constituency, or are outcomes better when unions concentrate on narrower interest groups? This study focused on part‐time instructional faculty at four‐year institutions in the U.S. and considered four employment outcomes that may be influenced by different types of union representation in collective bargaining agreements with their academic employers: pay for courses taught, health and retirement benefits, and contract length for teaching. Union membership criteria and coalition operating strategy are both found to significantly influence these outcomes, with higher course pay, greater odds for health and retirement benefits, and longer contract terms generally associated with unions that include all types of faculty as members, rather than representing part‐time instructors separately from others, and that choose to ally with other unions in their efforts, rather than operate alone.
- MA in Policy Studies