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http://crw.sagepub.com/ The Relationship Between Unionization and Job Satisfaction Among Two-Year College Faculty
Charles E. Finley Community College Review 1991 19: 53 DOI: 10.1177/009155219101900208 The online version of this article can be found at: http://crw.sagepub.com/content/19/2/53
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1977. and Baker. 1980) and yet historically have been the most inclined to turn to collective bargaining.The Relationship Between Unionization and Job Satisfaction Among Two-Year College Faculty CHARLES E. Finkelstein. Ernst. Research into the impact of collective bargaining on two-year college faculty has largely focused on either salary or total compensation levels. 2 Downloaded from crw. 1980. 1983). Leslie & Hu. Volume 19. collective bargaining has not been successful at generating greater salaries than are received by non-unionized faculty over a five-year period and to speculate that the motivation for faculty unionization lies with non-economic components of job satisfaction. No. The results have led researchers to conclude that. with these 570 institutions representing 55% of all unionized colleges and universities (Douglas. Findings generally revealed that while unionized four-year schools have higher mean salary or total compensation levels than do non-unionized schools. supervision and co-workers) two years before and three years after unionization at a four-year school. Benoit & Smith. FINLEY Despite the abundance of research that reports a highly satisfied American professoriate (Ladd & Lipset. 1984) used matched pairs of unionized and non-unionized colleges and compared mean salary levels over a five-year period. 1974. Community College Review. an upward trend in the number of colleges choosing to unionize is also being reported (Garfin. Three studies have examined the relationship between union status and faculty job satisfaction. Locke. Marshall. 1976. 1985). This apparent contradiction is most obvious among the nation's two-year colleges. 1988). promotion. as of 1988. 1976. Despite a strong history of unionization. Two-year schools were the first colleges to establish faculty unions and. but found a significant increase in only the pay component. 2013 53 .com by guest on February 12. 1976. two-year schools with collective bargaining have lower mean salaries or total compensation levels after the first five years of unionization than do their counterparts without collective bargaining. where faculty report the highest levels of job satisfaction within academe (Brawer. A longitudinal study by Ormsby and Ormsby (1988) measured satisfaction levels in five areas (work. Several studies (Birnbaum. just the opposite is true within the two-year sector. 61% of America's two-year schools had organized. pay. 1981. among two-year colleges. 1979. They found higher levels in all five areas after unionization.sagepub.
Do unions appear to be as effective at improving faculty job satisfaction within the two-year college sector as have been faculty unions in the four-year college sector? Methodology This study sought to examine the relationship between the presence of collective bargaining and perceived job satisfaction of two-year college faculty. Differences were significant in the first four dimensions. four state colleges and five community colleges. three research questions were drawn: 1. Researchers found higher satisfaction levels among the unionized faculty in both economic and non-economic dimensions of job satisfaction. He reported higher satisfaction levels among the unionized state college faculty in five of six dimensions of job satisfaction: economic. administrative (rapport with administrators. 2013 . association. benefits. clerical and equipment support by the 54 Unionization and Job Satisfaction Finley Downloaded from crw. student interest and enthusiasm for learning). involvement in decision-making). four liberal arts colleges. Hill (1982) compared job satisfaction levels of unionized faculty at the four state colleges with the levels of the non-unionized faculty at the other 16 campuses. Of the three studies cited that examine the relationship between union status and job satisfaction. recognition/support and teaching. policy). This study's job satisfaction model was derived from the work of Ekert & Williams (1972) that established six dimensions: economic (salary. Hill's study did not control for the type-of-institution variable. administration. A third study on the impact of union status on job satisfaction included 20 Pennsylvania campuses-two universities. presentation and professional development activities. student advising.com by guest on February 12. Are unionized faculty more satisfied with the economic dimension of their jobs than are non-unionized faculty? 2. travel reimbursement. association. However.They concluded that increased pay satisfaction was not achieved at the expense of non-economic dimensions of job satisfaction. 1984). five university satellite campuses. convenience and recognition/support. teaching (association with students. This finding was consistent with a latitudinal study of two state university systems that compared job satisfaction levels between the faculties of the unionized Minnesota and non-unionized Wisconsin state university systems (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin. Research Questions To examine the relationship between unionization and both economic and non-economic aspects of job satisfaction among two-year college faculty. associational (rapport with colleagues).sagepub. Therefore. the first two examined only four-year institutions and the third compared non-unionized community college faculties with unionized state college faculties. recognition and support (valuing of publication. Hill measured job satisfaction levels in six dimensions: economic. administration. convenience. In the study. Are unionized faculty more satisfied with any of the non-economic dimensions of their jobs than are non-unionized faculty? 3. promotion. the literature to this point included no research comparing satisfaction levels of unionized and non-unionized two-year college faculty.
c.com by guest on February 12. The communications between my supervisor and myself is open and comfortable. and convenience (physical surroundings. The issue of faculty workload was removed from the convenience dimension and measured separately. b. I am paid an adequate salary. Volume 19. c. c. Teaching a. I receive a satisfactory benefits package. I am satisfied with my present teaching assignment. My salary is appropriate to my duties. Associational a. My colleagues are understanding and supportive of my work. Table 1 . My colleagues listen to and consider my suggestions. d. 2 Downloaded from crw. Governance a. b.sagepub. The college lines of authority are clearly defined and well respected. d. Administrative a. Also. I enjoy counseling and advising students. d. computers and clerical assistance and the support that is derived from the value placed upon professional achievements of further study. Community College Review. 2013 55 . b. office facilities and workload). the two components of the recognition/support dimension were measured separately to distinguish between support in the form of adequate audio-visual equipment. In an effort to look more closely at issues commonly bargained collectively by college faculty. these six dimensions were expanded into nine for this study. e. d. e. My salary was arrived at fairly. c. My students believe my instructional content is relevant. Our upper level administration considers with fairness the suggestions made by faculty. I am involved in departmental policy making. My supervisor is fair in appraising my work performance. Issues of involvement in decision-making were removed from the administrative dimension and measured separately under the heading of governance. These modifications expanded the number of dimensions from six to nine (see Table 1). No. e. e. I am involved in college policy making. My students show interest and enthusiasm for learning. c. b. b.college). My colleagues and I work weil as a group. I am adequately reimbursed for college travel.Nine Job Satisfactions and Sample Items Economic a. The communication between my colleagues and myself is open and comfortable. d. The faculty senate usually represents me well. My supervisor listens to and considers my suggestions. I enjoy work on my college committees. I enjoy teaching. The faculty senate is an effective governance body.
workshops. My professional development activities are recognized and rewarded by my college. Convenience a. d. region of the country. I need. To control for autonomy. The population was limited to public two-year colleges within the 19 states that comprise the area represented by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. b. My building is maintained well (maintenance and Classrooms. that is. 1988. My college values appropriately the periodic enrollment of its faculty in advanced study (coursework. no branch campuses of four-year institutions were included. the mean faculty sizes were 70. Work Load a.7 and 72A for the unionized and non-unionized 56 Unionization and Job Satisfaction Finley Downloaded from crw. I have access to appropriate secretarial services. issue of Academe were matched according to whether or not faculty ranking exists. d. Publication and presentations at professional meetings are valued appropriately by my college. c. and urban-rural setting. c. b. I am furnished with all of the supplies and materials Population This study followed the methodology used by researchers who studied the relationship between collective bargaining and faculty salaries. My college provides an appropriate amount of release time from instructional duties so that faculty can pursue professional development activities.). b. matching pairs of schools that are similar except for union status. etc. My work load is reasonable. 2013 . I have enough time to get finished with most of my work. Also. I am able to obtain audio-visual materials or equipment c. Consideration is given in scheduling my classes so that time is available for professional development. furnished. which had been used to identify institutions with collective bargaining.sagepub.com by guest on February 12. Public two-year colleges listed in the "Report of the economic status of the profession" in the March-April. I am able to obtain adequate access to a computer. Support a. My office is adequately furnished. The Midwest region was chosen because it contains a reasonable balance between unionized and non-unionized two-year colleges. when I need them.Recognition a. however. e. 7 pairs had to be eliminated after contact with the schools revealed either incorrect or outdated designations in the Directory of Faculty Contracts and Bargaining Agents. For the remaining 10 pairs. size of the full-time faculty. laboratories or studios are adequately cleaning). unionized schools that had not been organized for at least five years were excluded from the study. b. American Association of University Professors' (AAUP) rank of comparative salary level. This process generated 17 pairs.
=.52 3.76 3.05 level for any of these characteristics. unionized faculty reported a higher satisfaction level in only the economic dimension.7 years.88 for the unionized and non-unionized groups.93. Instrument The instrument used was a modified version of the Job Satisfaction Inventory (JSI) (Hutton & Jobe. = . which has an internal consistency represented by a . Because the "age" of a union and its effectiveness may be related (Cameron. respectively. Data Analysis As can be seen in Table 2 and Figure 1. The higher economic satisfaction of unionized faculty was not found to be significant (F = 3.313).sagepub. = .05 level). Chi-square analysis revealed no significant difference at the .001).63 2.020). the mean AAUP salary levels were 2.67 3. Volume 19. Prob. Also. support and convenience.84 3. 2013 57 .12 3. Prob. Analysis of variance was used to test the significance of differences between satisfaction levels in each of the nine dimensions (.04 3.63 321 Unionized 3. = . 2 Downloaded from crw. However.45. Therefore.groups respectively.83.com by guest on February 12.79 3. significance was found in three dimensions where higher levels were reported by non-unionized faculty: governance (F = 10. Prob. However.98 330 3. the higher satisfaction levels among non-unionized faculty were not found to be significant in five dimensions: teaching (F = 1.94 alpha coefficient and a test-retest correlation coefficient of .72. = .228). 1982). Satisfaction levels in the eight non-economic dimensions were higher among non-unionized faculty and significantly higher in three-governance. and workload (F = 1. recognition (F = 0. these items were eliminated to produce 55 items to address the six dimensions of faculty job satisfaction. Prob. Prob. = . 1985). and convenience (F = 5. associational (F = 2.013). sex. Prob. highest degree earned and years teaching at two year-colleges. = . A return rate of 74% generated 222 usable responses that were analyzed to compare the unionized and non-unionized sample groups according to the following demographic characteristics that could influence satisfaction levels: age. Table 2 .02.L 3.78 3. Sample One-fourth of the full-time faculty at each school was randomly selected to produce a sample size of 301.47 3.Mean Satisfaction Levels in Nine Dimensions ECON TEACH ADM GOV ASSO REC SUPP CON W.74 3.35.60. administrative (F = 11. No.055).36 Non-unionized Community College Review.95 and 2.26 3. Prob. Also.61.65 2.27.108). the JSI was designed to measure potential causes of two-year college faculty burnout and some of its 63 Likert-type statements were inappropriate for a focus on union status. mean satisfaction levels of nonunionized faculty are higher in eight of the nine dimensions of job satisfaction.206). but it was not significant.14. it should be noted that the age of the faculty unions in this study ranged from 6 to 23 years and averaged 14. In summary. support (F = 6. Prob.604). = . = . Prob.
If faculty unions at two-year colleges are not effective at gaining significantly higher salaries or economic satisfaction. it can be concluded that faculty unions at twoyear colleges in the Midwest have not been effective at generating significantly higher pay satisfaction than is found among non-unionized faculty. In fact. Regardless of union status. 58 Unionization and Job Satisfaction Finley Downloaded from crw. 2013 . the significantly higher satisfaction levels among non-unionized faculty suggest that the collective bargaining process may have impaired aspects of the work environment.com by guest on February 12.Figure 1. Administrators concerned about future projections of a shortage of college faculty may wish to address these sources of dissatisfaction by assessing their own faculties' satisfaction levels. This conclusion supports compensation studies previously cited that found no evidence of unionization being a factor in generating higher faculty salaries within the two-year college sector. Finally.sagepub. and they are least satisfied with their role in the governance function of the colleges as well as with the level of recognition they receive.0 Unionized Non-unionized -- --- Conclusions From the findings of this study. they are only moderately satisfied with their salary/benefits.0 T 2. Similarly. support services and workloads. one might suppose that union membership generates higher satisfaction levels in non-economic areas like governance or workload dimensions. A tracking of the means in Table 2 reveals that unionized and non-unionized faculties are more similar than different with respect to perceived job satisfaction. colleagues and supervisors. two-year college faculty reflect comparatively high satisfaction levels with their physical surroundings and facilities as well as with their relations with students. However. but that two-year college faculty unions are not as effective as their four-year school colleagues at gaining an advantage over non-unionized faculty in either actual salary level or salary satisfaction. faculty union leaders may wish to assess their own memberships' satisfaction levels to gauge their own effectiveness and develop future goals. Mean Satisfaction Levels by Union Status 4. It might also be noted that faculty job satisfaction research by Gomez-Mejia and Balkin (1984) did report significantly higher pay satisfaction among unionized four-year faculty. However. the findings of this study suggest that unions are even less effective in areas outside of salary and benefits. individual two-year college faculty with membership in a bargaining unit may wish to question the value they are receiving in the light of this study and previously cited research that have been unable to demonstrate any significant economic advantage to union membership.0 ECON TEACH ADM GOV ASSO REC SUPP CON 3.
Buffalo. & Williams. 263-279. Hill. (1976). Finkelstein. Y. E. Directory of faculty contracts and bargaining agents in institutions of higher education. 49. New York: National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education. Garfin. Demographic and job satisfaction characteristics of Florida community college faculty. B. the question that remains is. Baker. Academy of Management Journal. Unionization and faculty compensation. 317-324. R. Community/lunior College Quarterly of Research and Practice. (1984). 11. Community College Review. S. The relationship between faculty unionism and organizational effectiveness. E. References Academe. R. Academy of Management journal.). (1976). May 3). Understanding American academics: What have we learned and where do we go from here? Occasional Paper No. pp. F. no. State University of New York at Buffalo. Gomez-Mejia. ED 128 048) Cameron. M. Douglas. (1974). Birnbaum. D. E. R. (1982). Ekert. (1976. p. 591-602. M. J. J. 29-33. College faculty view themselves and their jobs. K. M. 9. Satisfaction and humanities instructors in two-year colleges. 53-62. B.sagepub. M. 27. Report of the economic status of the profession. (1985). & Balkin. Ernst. (1985). H. 6. What advantage is gained through collective bargaining with the two-year college sector? Future research may seek to answer this question and also to explore why so few two-year colleges vote to de-certify unions that appear to be ineffective at enhancing job satisfaction over that of their non-unionized colleagues. J. Ensuring effective governance. job satisfaction of community college faculty. 2013 59 . pp. New York: National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education. (ERIC No. M. 2 Downloaded from crw. B. R. 4. part II. Faculty satisfaction with pay and other job dimensions under union and non-union conditions. (Eds. 19-73.). (1981). Benoit. 25(1). Hutton. Chronicle of Higher Education. NY: Department of Higher Education. The impact of collective bargaining on faculty compensation in community colleges. & Lipset. Volume 19. 6-24.com by guest on February 12. (March-April 1988).Implications for Further Research Looking at the results of this study within the context of the substantial research on faculty salary level. & Jobe. R. & Smith. Community/lunior College Quarterly of Research and Practice. (1982). 193-203. 116-118. Collective bargaining: The conflict model as a norm? In W Deegan & J. Educational Record 55. Gollattscheck. Community/lunior College Quarterly of Research and Practice. (Ed. J. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. H. 8. Birnbaum. (1984). Unionization and faculty compensation. Ladd. (1980). (1988). (1980). Nearly all professors are satisfied with their choice of an academic career.D. R. (1972). L. 11. Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector. C. Directory of faculty contracts and bargaining agents in institutions of higher education. 165-180. Educational Record. No. Variations in job satisfaction among higher education faculty in unionized and non-unionized institutions in Pennsylvania. A. New Directions for Community Colleges. 12(10). 57. D. Brawer.
The effects of unionization on faculty job satisfaction: A longitudinal study. 153-160. 50. The financial implications of collective bargaining.sagepub. journal of Higher Education. Marshall. The effects of collective bargaining on faculty salaries in higher education. L. journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector. W (1977). 32-53. The Review of Higher Education.com by guest on February 12. 3. E.Leslie. Locke. Columbus. (1979). L. T. 343-365. 311-322. J. journal of Education. S. & Hu. Finley is Professor of Graphic Communications. Charles E. 17. G. L. (1988). (1983). A. Y. job satisfaction and role clarity among university and college faculty. 6. & Ormsby. Ohio. 2013 . Columbus State Community College. Ormsby. 60 Unionization and Job Satisfaction Finley Downloaded from crw. J.
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