[Excerpt] Union organizing among non-teaching white collar employees of colleges and universities persists. To the discomfort of many university administrators, high visibility union successes at Yale, Columbia, Harvard, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Illinois were not isolated instances but part of a trend.
Professional, technical, and clerical employees' desire for a more effective voice, has combined with the economic insecurity associated with stubborn budgetary pressures, to encourage these workers to pursue union representation. Unions have responded to this opportunity with enthusiasm, experimenting with innovative organizing and bargaining strategies in the relatively open environment offered by institutions of higher education.
This chapter presents a sympathetic summary of this phenomenon. It touches on employee motivation to unionize, models of university white collar organizing, responses to unionization by university administrators, and the range of possible bargaining relationships. The concluding section suggests a management position towards organizing and bargaining consistent with the highest standards of the academy. To set the stage, the essay begins with a descriptive review of the extent of unionization.