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Abstract

Research on unions in academe began in the 1960s and 1970s. It continued in the 1980s as greater numbers of faculty organized but then declined in the 1990s, with the exception of a small group of scholars who continue to study and comment on labor management relations in post-secondary education. Many prognostications, originally put forward in the 1970s and 1980s, remain unexamined. The last two decades in particular, have seen less attention focused on unions in academe. Organizing efforts continue to be robust, and advocates from all vantage points continue to offer arguments both in favor or against collective bargaining. Yet we really know very little about the impact unions have on academic organizations. Much of what is said about the outcomes remain unsubstantiated in peer reviewed journals or other “non-advocate” scholarly work. In fact, there are few objective and defensible research studies to substantiate many claims made by those opposed to or supportive of collective bargaining, particularly when viewing the wider institutional landscape.

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