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Previous studies of union wage effects in higher education have examined faculty salaries, but not staff salaries. This study, using data from a 1997-98 survey conducted by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers and other sources, investigates how union coverage affected staff salaries at 163 U.S. colleges and universities. The authors estimate a union salary premium of 9-11%, with variation from near zero for some of the 47 occupations in their sample to 13-16% for others, such as the skilled building trades. The union/nonunion differential appears to be larger in 2-year than in 4-year institutions, but does not vary between the public and private sectors. Where faculty members are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, unionized staff members appear to enjoy an additional salary gain of 2-3%.


Suggested Citation
Klaff, D. B. & Ehrenberg, R. G. (2003). Collective bargaining and staff salaries in American colleges and universities [Electronic version]. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 57(1), 92-104.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.