Academic Leaders to Testify in Favor of Faculty Collective Bargaining Rights

March 5, 2012
Contact: John Curtis
Director of Research and Public Policy
 

Leaders of the American Association of University Professors will testify this week in favor of legislation providing collective bargaining rights to faculty and graduate employees in Maryland institutions of higher education.

Washington, DC—A national organization that has played a major role in formulating standards and principles for the academic profession, the American Association of University Professors has long held that faculty members and graduate employees at public and private institutions are entitled to choose whether to engage in collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining based on a mutual interest in quality higher education has proven to be an effective way to secure the best possible working environment for faculty and staff and the best possible learning environment for students.

For this reason, leaders of the American Association of University Professors will testify this week in favor of the Higher Education Workforce Equity Act, legislation providing collective bargaining rights to tenured and tenure‐track faculty, adjunct faculty, and graduate employees in specific Maryland institutions of higher education.

The AAUP has hundreds of chapters at campuses across the country, some of which have formed themselves into unions. Unionized chapters can use formal negotiations and the enforcement of contractual agreements to protect academic freedom, advance professional standards, and to bring legally binding protections to those critical faculty working conditions that double as student learning conditions. Faculty members from unionized chapters at two large public research institutions, the University of Delaware and the University of New Hampshire, will testify at the hearings.

Benefits of collective bargaining in a higher education setting include the following:

  • Formal negotiations can improve and regularize communication between the faculty and the administration. If institutional planning is to be productive, it needs to be accompanied by regular, clear communication that truthfully represents the interests of the parties involved.
  • Collective bargaining can ensure consensus on institutional policies and procedures that articulate the roles of faculty and the administration in shared governance.
  • Collective bargaining can ensure that major institutional decisions are made with the full and meaningful participation of faculty members and graduate employees who are directly involved in carrying out the institution’s mission on a daily basis.
  • Collective bargaining can establish consistent and fair working conditions and compensation across groups of employees.

Hearing Information

The testimony, given at the invitation of Maryland faculty, will be in Annapolis before the Appropriations Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates and the Finance Committee of the Maryland Senate in hearings on Tuesday, March 6, and Thursday, March 8, respectively.

March 6, Maryland House of Delegates:

  • Martin D. Snyder, acting executive director of the American Association of University Professors
  • Gerry Turkel, professor of sociology, University of Delaware, and a member of the AAUP national Council

March 8, Maryland Senate:

  • Martin D. Snyder, acting executive director of the American Association of University Professors
  • Deanna Wood, librarian, University of New Hampshire, and a member of the AAUP national Council

 

The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, and standards of quality in higher education. The AAUP has approximately 47,000 members at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Media Contact: 
John Curtis
Publication Date: 
Monday, March 5, 2012