Representation no bargain

Lower salaries and smaller annual pay increments—these are the results UPI/AFL-CIO representation and collective bargaining have imposed on Illinois university faculty members during the past 10 years.

Based on the 1992-93 AAUP Faculty Salary Survey, Section 1C, the average faculty base salary earned by a Northern Illinois University faculty member this year is $46,200. That compares with an average (nine month) salary of $42,200 earned by faculty at Western Illinois University, the campus with the highest average annual rate in the Board of Governors system. (All faculty members on the campuses in the BGU system are represented by UPI/AFL-CIO and have salaries negotiated by collective bargaining.) The NIU salary also exceeds the $42,100 average annual base pay of Sangamon State University, one of NIU’s sister campuses in the Board of Regents system that has had its faculty salaries determined by collective bargaining between UPI/AFL-CIO and the Regents since 1987.

These salary differentials are consistent throughout all three professorial ranks. All salary figures in this calculation have been adjusted for midyear pay increases.

Annual salary increases have also been lower at the campuses represented by UPI/AFL-CIO and negotiated through collective bargaining. Figures comparing salary trends in the BGU and Regents universities over the past 10 years are set forth in the accompanying chart. Salaries at NIU and at Illinois State University have not only been consistently higher, but have increased more rapidly than salaries at the other five institutions where increases are determined by collective bargaining with UPI/AFL-CIO. (Governors State University, another BGU campus, was excluded from the chart because its 1993 salary data is unavailable.)

In 1986, the last year before unionization at SSU, the average full professor at SSU earned $37,000 per year. This year the average full professor earned $47,700. At NIU the comparable figures are $40,600 in 1986 and $56,000 in 1993. Over this period, NIU salaries for full professors have risen by 38 percent. If SSU faculty members had received the same percentage salary increase, full professors there would now be earning more than $51,000 on average per year. Thus, since unionization and collective bargaining, SSU full professors have seen their salaries slip by more than $3,300.

A similar calculation shows that an average associate professor at SSU has lost about $1,000. In 1986, assistant professors at SSU actually earned more than their colleagues of the same rank at NIU. That is no longer true; the average SSU assistant professor’s salary has dropped by $3,300 compared to NIU assistant professors, and assistant professors at SSU on average now make less than assistant professors at NIU.

In short, UPI/AFL-CIO and its collective bargaining system has not improved either the level of compensation or the rate of annual pay increases for university faculty members. Additionally, by imposing a dues structure which amounts to almost 1 percent of their salary for union members, or 9 percent in fair share dues for non-union members (BGU) and which is collected through payroll deduction, like income taxes, it has decreased the take-home pay of college professors in Illinois. Illinois faculty members literally “pay a price” in lost wages for UPI’s system of “shared governance.”

Additional information on the effects of unionization on faculty salaries at Illinois universities can be obtained by contacting Neil Rickert at 753-6490 or T. Daniel Griffiths at 753-7811.