What Good Do Faculty Unions Do?

Research sheds little light on quantifiable benefits of collective bargaining

What Good Do Faculty Unions Do? 1

Leonardo Carrizo for The Chronicle

Unions representing public-college faculty members are on the brink of being stripped of power in Ohio, where supporters of collective-bargaining rights gathered last month to protest.

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close What Good Do Faculty Unions Do? 1

Leonardo Carrizo for The Chronicle

Unions representing public-college faculty members are on the brink of being stripped of power in Ohio, where supporters of collective-bargaining rights gathered last month to protest.

As unions that represent public-college professors have come under attack in state legislatures, the unions' leaders have fought back without being able to define what, exactly, they stand to lose if their right to collectively bargain goes away.

Many union leaders have declared that right essential if faculty members are to be paid adequately, treated fairly, and given a voice in their institutions' affairs. But the research that tests such assertions offers mixed findings. At most