Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One Reason I Don't Belong to a Union

It's one thing to be forced to pay taxes to a government that does things you disagree with, but why pay fees to a union who waste some of them on political campaigns that you disagree with and are irrelevant to their members' direct interests? Of course, there are other reasons too... BTW I once did join a union as it was the best route to health insurance in the country I then lived in and I voted for the Labor party at the last Federal election in Australia so I can be pragmatic :)

By contrast with the situation in Australia where it seems that only the one union is allowed to negotiate pay and conditions, in my previous position in the U.S. we were told by the provost ("chief academic officer") of our university that it was illegal for faculty members to even ask other faculty members whether they wanted to join a union as we were deemed in law to be "management" rather than "workers". I found this very strange.


  1. We have too much control over curricula and hiring - NLRB vs. Yeshiva University pretty much killed faculty unions at private schools in the states.

  2. I don't think there is any law in Australia that would stop the prime minister joining a union if he wants to. And given he's from the Labor party he probably does belong to a union... I think the US system of local faculty associations makes more sense than having a national higher education union (which the UK has too). But don't understand the legal issues in the US which prevent the latter.