2016--A Year of Big Change


Almost every year-end review of 2016 pointed out what a dynamic year it was. This year’s volume of the JCBA reflects that same dynamism. In terms of size, this is the largest number of articles published in one volume in our history. But it is not only the numbers that indicate the movement in collective bargaining in the current academy, it is the broad nature of the elements that are changing in our environment, and the stature in our discipline of the many of the writers, that make for this a dynamic issue.

This change is epitomized by our opening piece, William Herbert’s “The Winds of Changes Shift: Recent Growth in Bargaining Units.” The Herbert (current executive director of our sponsor organization, The National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions) article takes a snapshot of the first three-quarters of 2016, following the model of the Center’s signature publication, the Directory of Faculty Contracts and Bargaining Agents, last published in September 2012. Herbert’s article attempts to identify and categorize the new units, either resolved or pending, this year – which it enumerates as 64! The article shows how vibrant our sector is in terms of adding bargaining units.

After the Herbert update, we have Barnett Horowitz’s “The Matriculation of the Micro-Unit on the College Campus.” Horowitz, a long-time NLRB employee, discusses both the Specialty Healthcare and Columbia University cases out of the Board, as well as the Yale University filing for a micro-unit – a change in labor law that could prove important to faculty and higher education professionals (with the caveat, of course, about the possible changes of a Trump-appointed Board).

The first research article in the issue is by Stephen G. Katsinas, Director of the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama, and his colleagues Johnson A. Ogun and Nathaniel J. Bray. The title “The Impact on Geography and Collective Bargaining on Regional University Faculty Compensation” tells it all; Katsinas, Ogun, and Bray have culled through data from the Directory, IPSE, the AAUP and others for 390 institutions to generate conclusions that confirm “the difference[s] are even wider [than geography] when…collective bargaining is considered.”

Likewise, in the next article, Barry R. Mayhall, also from the University of Alabama, is joined by Katsinas and Bray in similar work on the community colleges, “Collective Bargaining, Local Appropriations, Community College Faculty Salaries and Benefits.” However, Mayhall et al identify the importance of local appropriations – supposedly a significant factor in funding community colleges nationwide. Mayhall et al shows that collective bargaining matters, but local appropriations do, too, and the current trend is to less support from that area.

The CFA article is followed by a piece by Daniel J. Julius and Nicholas DiGiovanni, Jr. DiGiovanni is the author of the journal’s most downloaded article, “This Much I Know is True” (Vol. 3). “Factors that Affect the Time to Negotiate a Faculty CBA,” incorporates the authors’ vast experience in negotiating faculty agreements into an enlightening read.

The next practitioner article is from Michael Mauer, Senior Labor Advisor at the AAUP, “Protecting Shared Governance Through Collective Bargaining: Models Used By AAUP Chapters.” The title covers the main idea, but it is one that is central to many faculty bargaining units, and the article provides helpful guidance in “how you should incorporate shared governance” into your agreement.

Finally, we are honored to have “Organizing Faculty Unions in a Right-to-Work Environment” from Tom Auxter, president of the United Faculty of Florida. Auxter writes based on his experience on a subject that is unusual and, we think, therefore enlightening.

In all, it is a deep and thought-provoking lineup in a year that made us all question and think across the board. We hope you enjoy the reading and we hope the next year brings us more complex, interesting, and enlightening issues to be highlighted in the JCBA.




Practitioner Perspectives


Bargaining Faculty Salaries in Hard Times
California Faculty Association