Statement on Collective Bargaining

Academe, July/August 2017 | Go to article overview

Statement on Collective Bargaining


The American Association of University Professors supports collective bargaining as a means to advance the goals of the organization. The Association is committed to protecting academic freedom, institutions of faculty governance, fair procedures for resolving grievances, the economic well-being of faculty and other academic professionals, and the advancement of the interests of higher education. Collective bargaining is an effective instrument for achieving these objectives, and therefore the Association supports the right of faculty, other academic professionals, and graduate students to form unions. As a national organization that has historically played a major role in formulating and implementing the principles that govern relationships in academic life, the Association promotes collective bargaining to reinforce and secure the principles of academic freedom and tenure, fair workplace procedures, and the economic security of the profession. Moreover, a union can provide all those who teach and conduct research in higher education with an effective voice in decisions that vitally affect its members' professional well-being, such as the allocation of financial resources and determination of salaries and benefits.

The Association further affirms that collective bargaining ensures that all academic professionals have an effective role in the governance of institutions. Tenure-line and non-tenure-line faculty, graduate employees, and academic professionals at both public and private institutions are entitled to choose to engage in collective bargaining in order to ensure an effective role in the governance of the institution. Trustees and administrators should maintain neutrality and allow academic workers to determine for themselves whether they would like to be represented by a union. They should not resort to litigation or other means having the purpose or effect of restraining or coercing the faculty in its choice of collective bargaining. Where a group of employees chooses collective bargaining, trustees and administrators have an obligation to bargain in good faith with the union and should not resort to litigation or any other means intended to avoid this obligation.

The presence of institutions of faculty governance does not preclude the need for or usefulness of collective bargaining. On the contrary, collective bargaining can be used to increase the effectiveness of those institutions by extending their areas of competence, defining their authority, and strengthening their voice in areas of shared authority and responsibility.

Policy for Collective Bargaining Chapters

1. When a chapter of the Association enters into collective bargaining, it has an obligation to

a. …

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