University Faculty Unions
Whatever one might say about the entrepreneurial and equalizing merits of unions writ large, you can’t say it about the unions of University Faculty members. The evidence on the effect of unionization of faculty life suggests that it increases militancy, has a minor effect on wages, makes for more process, but does not have a net positive effect on job satisfaction. And, given that faculty salary often trades with students’ resources debt, the distributive arguments for faculty unionization are particularly tough to make. I appreciate that I’m happy at my institution, so I’m particularly ill-positioned to attack unions, which help dis-empowered and unhappy workers. Also, Temple Law School has a faculty union – separate from the university! – that has few of the normal impositions (dues, etc.) But still, aren’t faculty unions a luxury we can live without?
If I were a tough minded Democratic governor looking to show that I can demagogue against unions as much as my republican colleagues, but I wanted to pick a target that was particularly ripe for the picking, I know where I’d start.